Valois Kung-fu recently threw their first martial arts tournament since moving into their new dojo on Davie Street in 2018.
Shogun Martial Arts from Williams Lake joined Valois Kung-fu and Iron Dragon Martial Arts in the one-day tournament, with saw 20 competitors from ages six to 40 show off their skills in front of friends, family and instructors.
Kata, which are self defence moves done in a pattern form, were performed, and some point-stop, continuous and semi-contact fighting matches were held too.
Marc Valois, who owns the local club, says there was a really good turnout, with great competitors, and he is hoping to make the tournament an annual event, as it is very valuable to his students.
“The big thing they get out of it is experience and learning how to handle themselves under pressure,” he says of these sorts of events.
“Students get a chance to find out what they’re good at, where they need more work, and it helps them build their confidence and self-control.”
While the longtime martial arts instructor says he is extremely proud of all his students, nine-year-old Kai Sakakibara really stood out for him.
“He was a junior belt and we couldn’t get a match-up for him, so I moved him up into a higher division, and he won the division in points-stop fighting,” Valois says. “He did fantastic.”
Sakakibara went into the division as the underdog. It was his first tournament, so he had less experience than the two competitors he was up against.
One moment really showcased his toughness.
“He was losing one fight by two points and he got kicked in the ribs and was hurt, so we stopped the fight and got him to get his wind back ,” Valois says.
“He was bruised up and I had a little chat with him, a little pep talk, and he went back in there and won the fight.”