Sports

Steveston Karate Club marks 40 years

Karate competitors put their best foot forward last Saturday at Steveston Community Centre as part of a major tournament.  - Kaz Yamamura photo
Karate competitors put their best foot forward last Saturday at Steveston Community Centre as part of a major tournament.
— image credit: Kaz Yamamura photo

The Steveston Karate Club celebrated 40 years last Saturday by hosting an annual tournament known to draw competitors from around the world.

Over 400 martial artists from as far away as Venezuela and Belgium gathered at Steveston Community Centre's indoor tennis court facility for the invitational tournament.

"It is one of the biggest tournaments in North America," said Jim Kojima, president of the Steveston Community Society.

The event also drew some of the top officials in the sport, along with international and national champion athletes. The Consul General of Japan in Vancouver, Seiji Okada, also attended the event.

Action got underway at 9 a.m. in six rings. At day's end, tow winners were named in the Black Belt Kata Division. On the women's side, Hidemi Uchiage defeated her sister Sumi Uchiage for the title. For the men, Toshihide Uchiage—a 10-time senior Canadian champion—won.

Black Belt Kumite winners: Kristie Schafer (women's 60 kilogram) and Vienna Krumwiede (women's open); Jhosed Ortuno (men's 70 kilogram); Mario Toro Jr. (men's open).

The Steveston Karate Club was born in 1973 with the help of sensei Takeshi Uchiage and the mayor of Wakayama, Japan, which also became the City of Richmond's sister city that year.

The club has grown since then and is known for providing a high calibre of karate instruction.

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