Lahaina Dojo black belts take top honors at Kahului contest
LAHAINA – For the Lahaina Dojo, it was a clean sweep of the top awards at the fourth annual Maui Karate Association Fall Tournament that took place on Sept. 21 in the Kahului School cafeteria.
For the third consecutive year, Lahaina’s Maybell Benito, Shodan (first degree black belt), was awarded the Outstanding Female Competitor trophy.
This time around, she was joined by Napili resident Jacob Lum Lung (Shodan) on the winners’ stand, as he was recognized as the Outstanding Male Competitor in the competition.
Benito, a junior at Lahainaluna High School, won gold medals in the advanced kata (forms) and kumite (sparring) events, and teamed up with Lum Lung, a senior at Kamehameha Schools Maui, and Michael Doan, another first degree black belt at the Lahaina club, to take first place in the advanced synchronized kata competition.
Benito, an honor student at Lahainaluna, also plays the saxophone in the Luna Marching Band. Lum Lung is also an honor student at Kamehameha and plans to attend the University of Nevada Las Vegas to study film production after high school graduation.
Lahaina Dojo’s other leading medal winners from the tournament, organized by Deron Furukawa and Kit Zuleta of MKA and sanctioned by the Japan Karate Association Hawaii and Chief Instructor Hiroshi Maeda Sensei, included: Glen Delatori and Randy Ginoza in the advanced adult category; Michael Doan, Adrian Benito, Chase Marten and Addison Marten in the advanced youth division; and Xander Domingo, Yuna Lee, Christopher Salem, Kaelan Potter, Kai Shively and Enoka Balinbin in the intermediate level.
Hoken Hironaka, David Advincula, Kalae Robinson, Kokoro Yamazaki, Fara Lei Advincula, Jayelyn Finn, Daren Advincula, Kanoa Medo, Ayumu Hironaka, Sacha Salem and Kaiulani Balinbin also won honors.