In a week’s time, 15 of Salmon Arm and Sicamous’ finest martial artists from Provincial Martial Arts will head to Richmond, B.C. to participate in the World Martial Arts Games at the Richmond Oval.
“It’s an open martial arts tournament. So every discipline will be represented from karate, taekwondo, kickboxing to traditional shotokan kata.” explained Holly Raczynski, from Salmon Arm, who will coach and participate in the event from Sept. 3 to 7.
With more than 500 competitors from over 30 countries, the games will certainly be competitive.
“The ages will range from seven and up to maybe 70 – who knows there might be some oldies there.”
Qualifiers to compete at the games for Team Canada were held in each province.
In order to qualify, each athlete had to finish in the top two of their division, based on age and belt.
The athletes from Provincial Martial Arts will compete in kickboxing, which is scored on a points system.
At the end of the tournament, the athlete with the highest accumulative points will be the winner in each discipline by age and belt.
Raczynski says that for many of the athletes this will be their first chance to showcase their skills on the world stage, and that she is very hopeful they will come home with some medals.
“This is the chance of a lifetime,” exclaims Will Phillips, from Sicamous. “This year it is so accessible for all of us, and it will be my last big tournament. I can’t wait to get out there.”
“It’s a huge experience, I’ve only ever done local events, and this one is on the world stage. It’s amazing, I can’t wait to test my abilities,” said 16-year old Lindsey Christian-Hack, from Salmon Arm.
Christian-Hack explained that she would love to take home a medal, but she ultimately wants to go for the experience and to just try her best.
Aside from the chance to compete at a world event, many of the athletes are most excited about seeing the other competitors from around the globe, and seeing their different styles and techniques.
For more information about the World Martial Art Games, visit www.http://richmondoval.ca/world-martial-arts-games/default.html.