Lahaina karate students compete in tournament
LAHAINA – The Kahului-based Maui Karate Association of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) held its sixth annual Fall Tournament on Sept. 27. Some 60 practitioners of the traditional martial art from Central Maui, Honolulu and Lahaina took part in the event.
Representing the Lahaina Dojo of the Japan Karate Shotokai in the tournament – which featured individual and team kata (forms) and kumite (sparring) – were 19 competitors ranging in age from four to 45 years of age. Leading off for the West Side club were Kaiulani Balinbin, Keanu Medo, Brody Lynch and Jason Monnett in the beginners age 5-6 division. All four won medals, with Medo garnering two silvers.
In the age 7-9 intermediate category, Ayumu Hironaka won a bronze in kata, Sacha Salem took a first place in kata and a second in kumite, Hoken Hironaka won a gold in kumite, and Kanoa Medo earned a silver and a bronze medal on the day.
In the age 9-11 beginner division, Samantha Monnett won a silver in kata, Kaedin Hanohano had a bronze and a silver, and Vince Apilado won two first place medals.
For the advanced youth competitions, Kokoro Yamazaki took first place in kata and a second in kumite for the age 11-13 division, Jayelyn Finn took fourth place in both events, Kai Shively captured a bronze and a silver in the age 8-10 category, Enoka Balinbin won a silver and a bronze, and Adrian Benito won two second place medals in the black belt teen competition.
Maybell Benito – the three-time defending Most Outstanding Competitor of the tournament – took first place in kata but was forced to default due to an ankle injury in the championship final in the black belt female division in sparring.
In the adult division, Gina Parola shone brightly with a gold medal in the intermediate kata competition and a silver for kumite, and husband Clint Parola earned two bronze medals representing the West Side club.