The Chito-Ryu World Karate Championships (also known as the Soke Cup) is a triennial event bringing together the top Chito-Ryu competitors from around the world and the 2013 Soke Cup held recently in Hong Kong was no exception. Although competitor number were a bit down compared to the 2010 Soke Cup, the competition was fierce and the spirit of international friendship was strong.
Some of our Sunshine Coast team members.
… Plus some Gold Coast team members and some of our Canadian friends
… Plus more friends from Noway, Japan, Hong Kong, more from Canada & some from Sydney too.
From the Sunshine Coast, we fielded a team of 15 competitors, the biggest representation from any single dojo around the world (with the exception of the host country). But this was not just a big team, it was also the most successful team ever from the Sunshine Coast, producing a total of 4 gold medalists along with a swag of silver and bronze medalists too, plus some personal best performances from other team members who did not place this time around.
This time the team made individual travel arrangements, but everyone arrived either the Saturday or Sunday prior to competition starting. To help adjust to the hot humid summer climate of Hong Kong decided to do team training outdoors in beautiful park next door to the tournament venue, overlooking the water. Heading out to the park early in the morning it was beautiful to see large groups of locals doing tai chi, chi gong and various other Chinese martial arts. Sensei Sandra even started a bit of a trend and joined one of the groups along with several other team members and supports one morning before team training started.
Sensei Sandra doing tai chi in the park early morning before team training.
A few days before the Soke Cup was due to start, everyone headed for a clinic with Soke Sensei and some other sernior instructors from around the world. For many it was a great way to reaffirm the training that they had already been doing and was a big confidence booster. But that afternoon news came in that there was a typhoon possibly headed our way. That night the winds intensified as the storm warning was increased to level 8 which put the city on lock-down for most of the next day (the day before the tournament). By Australian standards it didn’t seem like much at all, but I guess 100km/h+ winds could cause a few potential hazards with things falling out of high-rise windows.
Then it was into the tournament on Thursday and Friday. But rather than writing lots, here are a few photos and videos to tell the story.
Opening ceremony…. waiting for the march out.
Australian dojos ready to march out.
Opening speech from Soke Sensei.
Paining the eyes of the Lion during the opening ceremony.
The conclusion of the Lion Dance.
Tia warming up for kata competition.
Renae waiting for her turn to compete
Keiko – Gold medal kata performance in the ladies kyu grade masters division.
Sensei Martin’s kata (round 1).
Raphael Borleis – Kumite gold medalist, Men’s kyu grade.
Results from Sunshine Coast members at the Soke Cup.
- Keiko Kabasawa – Masters Ladies Kyu Rank Kata (40 yrs +)
- Renae Saunders – Jr D Girls Kumite (12-13 yrs)
- Tia Guy – Jr C Girls Kumite (14-15 yrs)
- Raphael Borleis – Adult Men’s Kyu Rank U/75kg Kumite
- James O’Grady – Jr C Boys Kata (14-15 yrs)
- Klaudia Caston – Jr B Girls Kata (16-17 yrs)
- Duncan Bigg – Masters B Men’s Kyu Rank Kumite (40-49 yrs)
- Martin Phillips – Adult Men’s Black Belt Kata
- Sandra Phillips – Adult Ladies Black Belt Kata
- Henrik Flynn – Jr E Boys Kata (10-11 yrs)
- David Strazzari – Jr C Boys Kata (14-15 yrs)
- Jack Graham – Jr C Boys Kumite(14-15 yrs)
- Sandra Phillips – Adult Ladies Black Belt Kumite
- Men’s Team Kumite – Australia – Martin Phillips (SC), Duncan Bigg (SC), Raphael Borleis (SC), Adam Higgins (GC), Anthony Horgan (GC), German Gasco (New)