Children and adults were dressed in their finest martial arts attire and proved their skills at the tournament held at École Fox Run School Saturday.
Six mats were laid down on the floor where different age groups and martial arts were carried out.
This tournament attracted a lot of people. Navigating around the spectators, judges and competitors wasn’t easy. The gymnasium was packed.
But everyone there had a great time.
Children were divided up into two divisions of four and five-year-olds, and four divisions of six and seven-year-olds. All showed their best skills and competing with others in their age bracket.
Competitors competed in different martial arts such as Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Muay Thai.
Head instructor for Arashi Do Martial Arts in Sylvan Lake Renshi Ken Sumner said the most fun aspect of this tournament is seeing the competitors get out there and do their best.
“It’s watching people get out there and do well and to see how they do against the other people,” Sumner said. “There are a ton of emotions running through everybody. Fear,excitement, exhilaration, and watching those feelings go through them is pretty exciting.”
The different emotions were definitely seen on the competitors faces. Some were happy when they won, with some being disappointed when they didn’t do as well as they had hoped.
But the referees and coaches were there giving everyone a high five and verbal affirmation on a job well done.
“Almost every single kid leaves happy. They might not win but they had a good time and they met some people,” Sumner said.
This tournament also created an opportunity for people involved in martial arts to meet other like-minded people.
“You meet good people that are here just to have a good time and that’s more than competing,” Sumner said. “The social aspect is a great part of the tournament (as well).”
The benefits of competing in this tournament was people had the chance to test their skills and see where they stood against other people. It was also the place to feed their passion for doing martial arts.
Sumner said this is the fifth year for the tournament and it has grown and gotten better every year.
“People are enjoying it more,” Sumner said. “It is one of the few tournaments that the timing is different than other tournaments and a lot of people seem to like that.”
A sponsor of the tournament John-Paul Doucette was also at the tournament with his two sons.
He said he really likes how the event combines fitness and fun into one package.
“They are just having fun. They don’t even know they are out exercising. That’s why we really enjoy it as a family,” Doucette said.
As an event he said it brings so many people from out of town to Sylvan Lake at a time of year when not a lot of people are visiting.
Commenting on how the children interact with each other in competitions Doucette said in the competition moment they are ready to beat one another, but sitting and watching other competitions is different.
“They are wailing on each other for half a second and then they are sitting down and they are the best of friends. You can’t argue with that at all,” he said.