MIXED MARTIAL ARTS - Children and adults participated in the martial arts tournament held at École Fox Run School last year. This year’s event will be held on Saturday

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS - Children and adults participated in the martial arts tournament held at École Fox Run School last year. This year’s event will be held on Saturday

Sylvan Lake hosts Martial Arts Open Challenge for fifth straight year

The fifth annual Sylvan Lake Open Martial Arts Challenge will return to Fox Run school for a day of hard-fought competition.

Arashi-Do Sylvan Lake has a couple milestones to celebrate in 2017.

On Saturday, January 28 the fifth annual Sylvan Lake Open Martial Arts Challenge will return to Fox Run school for a day of hard-fought competition. The Open also coincides with Arashi Do Sylvan Lake’s 25th year in Town.

“It is an open tournament that is will see all different schools and styles,” Organizer of the tournament and instructor at Arashi-Do, Ken Sumner said. “Everybody can come together and compete. We are doing karate, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.”

The tournament is expected to have over 220 competitors aged 4-40+ compete in multiple styles across multiple divisions starting at 9:30 a.m. with the Arashi-Do black belts starting off the day.

“Not a lot of tournaments run it that way but I like it because it allows the black belts the opportunity to show off,” Sumner said. “They have training for 15-20 years here is their opportunity to showcase what they do.”

Sumner expects the competition to run on-time and the smoothest it has in the last five years due to a few organizational changes.

“All the divisions are done and all the brackets are done,” he said. “You can look that morning and see what division you are in, what time you are at and we can break it down almost to the exact minute. We tried out this system in Edmonton in March and we were within five minutes all day long. Ten years ago, everyone showed up at nine not knowing when they competed which led to long tough days.”

He added, “Now with the new way of running the tournament it is a lot easier on the parents and the competitors.”

Sumner is excited for his students to get a taste of competition.

“I want them to go compete whether they win or lose,” he said. “I want them to experience the stress and have them deal with the adrenaline and endorphins; to experience that is an important part. I’d like them to win and they will do good, but experiencing everything is the most important aspect.”

The tournament is open to the public and Sumner encourages everyone to come out and watch. The adult divisions offer experienced competition and the younger divisions offer excitement of their own.

“Watching these kids ages four to six compete is so cute and inspiring to watch,” he said. If you would like more information on the Sylvan Lake Open Martial Arts Challenge, you can log on to www.tournaments.mataleao.ca/2017_sylvan_lake.

reporter@sylvanlakenews.com