Martial arts tournament takes over Rim Park
The generation martial arts championships welcomed fighters of all ages to enter the dragon, and show off their fists of fury.
Rim Park played host to the generation martial arts championships on Saturday for one of the largest tournaments to come to Waterloo region.
“There is kung fu, there is karate and there is taekwondo,” said Tom Shamuon, tournament organizer.
More than 500 competitors from across Canada and the U.S.A showed up for the tournament.
“Nothing under the belt, no sweeping, nothing like that. Everything above the belt, nothing to the back. It’s all touch,” referee Michael Palitti said while explaining the rules.
Ages range from as young as 4 to as old as 50.
“I do karate and kung fu. I started when I was five. I started the kung fu side of things. I think this is the most people there’s ever been at this tournament and the competition is very good,” 11-year-old black belt Tejas Rai said.
Adding: “I love the social part of it. The friends that you meet and the people you meet and i like doing my forms and winning.”
The day was a tune-up for some of the best competitors in the country.
Several have already qualified for the World Karate Championships in Orlando, Florida.
Trevor Persaud is heading to the world championship and says there
“There’s a lot of training involved and teaching yourself how to react to different people. The best thing you can do is attend these open events to fight different people, to see different styles.”
For the less competitive, it's a perfect introduction to the sport.
Meanwhile, Palitti said in the last 14 to 15 months the sport has grown tremendously.
“We have a lot of new faces,” he said.