Budo Challenge provides opportunity for everyone
by Randy Pascal
Friendship and growth within the framework of fun and competition - as much as any other martial arts competition in Greater Sudbury, the Nickel
Capital Budo Challenge looks to incorporate this approach.
Last weekend, the Sudbury School of Martial Arts (SSMA) and Korean Martial Arts Centre (KMAC) combined forces, once again, presenting the 15th annual
edition of the tournament at the Cambrian College gymnasium.
With some two to three hundred athletes, young and old, on hand from various parts of Northern Ontario, the event tries to offer a varied and
"This is an open tournament, meaning any style can come in and compete," noted Craig Mason of the SSMA. "We have Korean stylists, we have a lot
of Japanese styles of karate, we have some tae kwon do groups. The whole idea is allowing people to come in and show their art."
Still, Mason acknowledges that regardless of the background that each group might bring, there are some commonalities that should become apparent to
even the most novice of spectators.
"Power, speed, co-ordination, balance - everything you learn and try to enhance," Mason said. Along with fellow organizer Charles Coutu (KMAC),
the pair offered 10 grand championship awards along with no less than 87 different and diverse categories of competition in forms, sparring, self-defense
"We do a point sparring, which is more light contact," Mason explained. "But it's a very explosive sparring, compared to full contact. With point
sparring, it's being able to explode from 0 to 100 and get your points."
One might think that given the diversity of styles, judging could pose a real challenge. "If you've been judging for a while, especially in the north,
you get used to seeing the same groups and their styles," Mason said. "A kick, for instance, regardless of the style, needs to be crisp and clean - it shouldn't be
"But in forms, you could have a soft korean stylist with very circular, fluid movements competing against a very hard japanese style, which is very
linear," Mason stated.
In the end, the camaraderie that comes from bringing people together, all with a mutual interest in the martial arts, makes this event worthwhile for
people like Mason and Coutu.
Following is a breakdown of the 10 Grand Championship winners that were recognized at the Nickel Capital Budo Challenge:
Junior Coloured Belt - 11 yrs old and under - KATA (Forms)
MacKenzie Cortes (Manitoulin School of Martial Arts)
Junior Coloured Belt - 12 to 16 yrs old - KATA (Forms)
John Howard (Benoitís Martial Arts)
Adult Coloured Belt - 17 to 29 yrs old - KATA (Forms)
Matthew Kelly (Reidís Martial Arts)
Ginzo Coloured Belt - 30 yrs old and over - KATA (Forms)
Michel LeBlanc (Sudbury Korean Martial Arts Centre)
Junior Black Belt - 16 yrs old and under - KATA (Forms)
Brianna Smith (Benoitís Martial Arts)
Junior Black Belt - 16 yrs old and under - SPARRING
Brianna Smith (Benoitís Martial Arts)
Men Black Belt - 17 to 29 yrs old - KATA (Forms)
Jason Webster (Marceauís Martial Arts)
Women Black Belt - 17 to 29 yrs old - KATA (Forms)
Sam MacKenzie (Reidís Martial Arts)
Ginzo Black Belt - 30 yrs old and over - KATA (Forms)
Chris Marceau (Marceauís Martial Arts)
Adult Black Belt - 17 yrs and over - SPARRING
Randy Bedard (Marceauís Martial Arts)
Team Events - Coloured Belts
Team Sudbury - KMAC (Myah Walia, Cedric Lessard, Taylor Boucher, Jayden Rivers)
Team Events - Black Belts
Team Benoitís Martial Arts Ė Brianna Smith and partners
Many of these same competitors are expected to be back in action in early May when Cambrian once again plays host to a martial arts competition. The
27th annual Mid-Canada Karate Championships will provide yet another venue for students of the martial arts to demonstrate their mastery of their
own particular style.