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Arigato Gozaimashita



The 2012 CANADIAN JUNIOR KYOKUSHIN CHAMPIONSHIPS marked a special occasion for our annual tournament as we moved into a new, more spacious venue.  After 10 years, it had become obvious that we had outgrown the gymnasium in the Kirkland Arena, so Sensei John decided to host the 11th edition of the CJKC in our new tournament home:  the hockey rink itself.  This gave us the breathing room we needed to produce a more efficient and enjoyable event for everyone in attendance.  When all was said and done, the overwhelming consensus was that this year's edition of the CJKC was the best one in its 11 year history thus far!  Click the picture above to see a treasure trove of marvelous photos of the tournament courtesy of Joseph Galli (thanks so much Joseph).  Meanwhile here's a note of thanks from Sensei John along with his report on the 2012 Canadian Junior Kyokushin Championships:  

Osu,

This past weekend (May 12, 2012), West Island Karate hosted the 11th edition of the Canadian Junior Kyokushin Championships.  To accommodate the growth of our annual tournament, we moved into a new larger venue: the hockey rink in the Kirkland Arena.  This expansion allowed us to host the morning registration in the same room as the competition area, a convenience enjoyed by the participants, coaches and parents alike.  We now had ample room for 4 widely-spaced tatamis as well as numerous open areas for the competitors to warm up while they waited, but still be close enough to watch the action and support their teammates.  The spacious grandstands provided the ideal vantage point for the spectators and allowed parents to keep a close eye on their children.

We saw the usual turnout in terms of number of competitors as well as number of dojos.  The tournament started precisely at 10 am, as advertised, and we were able to wrap things up just before 5 pm.  The morning registration and re-weighing of the competitors was quick and relaxed.  Everyone was taken care of in record time with very little waiting and minimal line-ups.  Our custom tournament system (developed in-house by Steve Roumeliotis...pictured in the center of this photo) played a large role in the efficiency of the CJKC.  The software facilitated registration of the competitors and preparation of all divisions beforehand, helped with the scoring of the kata and kumite competitions, and allowed us to make quick changes when necessary as the day went along.  Like last year, we once again provided access to the system (via any smartphone, tablet or laptop) for the spectators, coaches and competitors through a mobile website.  Everyone in attendance could track the tournament results in real-time as well as consult other useful tournament information. This year, the various pages of our mobile website were viewed 2368 times (30% more than in 2011).  This fun and unique feature of the CJKC is obviously very popular, so we will continue to provide this ability and attempt to expand on it in the future.

Steve and Mike were once again charged with manning the administration desk.  They were working hard, but things were running so smoothly that they found time to walk around the arena and actually enjoy the tournament.  Mike even found himself multitasking as he was conscripted to coach some WIK competitors.  He might have found a new calling, going 7-for-7 with the kids he coached (he just wanted you to know Vince ;-)).

The tournament began with a special performance by members of Arashi Daiko, the renowned Montreal-based, traditional Japanese, taiko drum troupe.  Their powerful performance was very impressive and invoked a rousing, standing ovation from everyone in attendance.  It was a spine-tingling, unforgettable moment, setting the tone for the entire tournament and inspiring the competitors to new heights.

Sensei Hugo Perez took charge of the refereeing teams which were comprised of a good mix of beginners with more experienced officials.  Widely acknowledged as one of the best and most experienced referees in the Montreal area, Sensei Hugo had generously given us another refresher course on refereeing in the weeks leading up to the tournament to ensure that we had the best possible officiating at the CJKC.  Domo arigato gozaimashita Hugo Sensei.  We would also like to thank Shihan Tom Flynn for making the trip from his dojo in Vermont to attend this year's CJKC.  Not one to sit on the sidelines, Shihan rolled up his sleeves and helped to judge kata and referee many of the kumite matches.  Domo arigato gozaimashita Tom Shihan.

There were many inspired katas and strong competition from all dojos.  The competitors showed a high level of precision and strength in their katas.  Many dojos did very well.  No one dojo dominated.  The kata divisions were completed in just under 2 hours which is a testament to the efficiency of our volunteers.  They worked tirelessly to prepare subsequent divisions as each current division was completing and receiving their trophies and medals.  It was a smooth, behind-the-scenes process that was appreciated by everyone in attendance.

Lunch time!  Delicious pizza from Pizza Nikkos was offered at the tournament canteen for the patrons and was provided free for all our volunteers and referees.  Some of the kids unexpectedly depleted our supply by helping themselves as well :-), but fortunately it was an easy matter to have more delivered.  After lunch ended at 1:30 pm, we continued with the kumite portion of the tournament.

The kumite divisions were all prepared in advance according to age, rank, gender and weight.  Any minor adjustments to compensate for discrepancies found during the morning registration were quickly made at the administration desk.  Divisions containing too large a range in weight between competitors were broken up into separate divisions.  This was done to ensure the safety of all the competitors, something which has always been of paramount importance at the CJKC.  The inherent cost of creating a new division (i.e. providing more trophies) has never been a consideration.

There were some epic battles all throughout the afternoon leading up to the teenage brown and black belt divisions that completed the day’s events.  Denis, our usual Urgence Sante medic who is responsible for administering any first-aid to competitors, reported that it had been the quietest year to date for him.  Only a couple of bruises were treated with some ice.  This is impressive when you consider the inherent contact-nature of the sport.  It was obvious that responsible, well-trained referees and proper match-ups played a direct role in keeping all the competitors safe.  This ensured that all the kids, as well as their coaches, parents and supporters, left our tournament with positive experiences and memories.

On behalf of West Island Karate, I would like to thank the parents, dojo operators and competitors for making this edition of our annual tournament the best one in the 11 years since its inception.  Many thanks go to the referees for not only dedicating their time and energy on tournament day, but for the many hours of training to which they committed in order to sharpen their skills and provide a professional and safe experience for the competitors.  Lastly, a very big thank you goes out to all the volunteers from WIK.  Because of you, we can provide a high quality tournament year after year that gives our juniors a stage to test their skills, and allows them to see and feel what true Kyokushin spirit is all about.  A portion of the tournament proceeds will go towards the WIK Fighters Fund, a resource that helps our competitors train and travel for competition.

Thank you for your continued support.  It is very much appreciated.  I sincerely hope to see everyone again next year for the 2013 Canadian Junior Kyokushin Championships.

Osu.

Sensei John Kalaidopoulos
West Island Karate
Director of the Canadian Junior Kyokushin Championships

 

Click on the poster below to watch a fun preview of the 2012 Canadian Junior Kyokushin Championships.  We look forward to seeing you again next year.  Osu!