Lahaina karate students win medals at fall tournament
LAHAINA – It was another sterling performance by the Lahaina Dojo of the Japan Karate Shotokai at the annual Maui Karate Association Fall Tournament held two weeks ago at the Binhi At Ani Filipino Community Center in Kahului.
The yearly event features clubs from Honolulu, Kahului and Lahaina in a weekend of traditional Shotokan Karate Do practice and competition.
Sensei Hiro Maeda (Roku Dan, or Sixth Degree Black Belt) is the Japan Karate Association Hawaii chief instructor. He led the extremely advanced and talented Honolulu team to the tournament weekend.
Sensei Deron Furukawa (Godan, Fifth Degree) led the MKA in organizing and hosting the event, and Sensei Walter Chihara (Yondan, Fourth Degree) spearheaded the Lahaina Dojo effort.
Lahaina Dojo participants included a youth contingent of Ken Abut, Aiko Abut, Caehlaen Wyatt Balmores, Emilio Olea, Emily Gorokhovsky, Jacob Gorokhovsky, Jason Monnett and Samantha Monnett.
Adult entrants were Glen Delatori, Jane Gorokhovsky, Vadim Gorokhovsky, Gina Parola, Clint Parola, Elizabeth Quayle Barca and Dave Barca.
The first day featured a joint tournament preparation practice at the MKA Dojo in Kahului. The tournament competition itself featured individual and team (synchronized) kata or forms events, and individual and team kumite (sparring) matches designed for specific experience and age levels.
After the whistle had blown to end the final match, the Lahaina Dojo members had won 32 of the custom-created medals presented by MKA and Sensei Furukawa.
And the crowning glory on the day came when Lahaina’s Ken Abut, age six, the youngest competitor in the tournament, was recognized with the Spirit Award for his outstanding inner effort throughout the day.
“Spirit is the important quality of Karate Do, and Ken Abut surely represents the essence of the martial arts,” said tournament organizer and facilitator Kit Zulueta of Maui Karate Association.