Two years of training paid off for Clearwater resident Damon Chase during the July 6 -8 weekend when he won two silver medals at the West Coast Can-Am Championships in Vancouver.
On the first day of the tournament Chase competed in Shanshou, a form of Chinese kickboxing. Because there were few competitors in the 18 and under category and because he was more experienced than those that were there, the organizers moved the 18-year-old Chase into the adult category.
Despite taking on the older competitors, the local youth still managed to take second place out of five.
The next day he competed in Muay Thai, or Thai kickboxing.
This time there were seven competitors in his category and once again he took second place.
The two types of kickboxing are similar but not the same, Chase explained. Shanshou allows punches, kicks and takedowns. Muay Thai, on the other hand, allows punches, kicks plus knees, but no takedowns.
It is important not to confuse the two sets of rules in the heat of the moment, he said.
Chase has been studying martial arts with Tom Laroche in Kamloops for about two years, traveling once or twice a week to the city for practices.
Although he’s competed in smaller tournaments before, this was his first major event, he said.
According to its website, the West Coast Can-Am International Championship is now in its 33rd year.
Martial arts represented included Wushu, Kung Fu, Qigong, Karate, Hapkido, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai and Sanshou.
The event was held in the War Memorial Gymnasium at UBC.