A group of Saanich athletes from the Kenzen Sports Karate club in Royal Oak were highly successful at the Karate B.C. championships in Richmond.
Thirteen-year-old Elias Dau led the way with gold in the kumite (sparring) for the 12-13 age group of advanced/black belt category. Dau defeated three of the top competitors in the province without allowing a single point against.
It’s a big win for Dau, who is dedicated to the sport and is already planning a two-week training trip to Japan in March 2017 to prepare him for the 2017 Team B.C. tryouts.
“[Dau] is very good at dodging and countering because he spars with adults,” said Kenzen club chief instructor Richard Mosdell. “Though it’s playful when Dau spars with adults, he’s learning to be quick.”
Karate is gaining a lot of interest as it is likely to be included in the 2020 Olympics. With that added Olympic clout, the sport will also receive an improved commitment to its infrastructure at the Karate B.C. and Karate Canada levels, Mosdell said.
Dau just happens to be on the cusp of entering the pipeline that will eventually produce Canada’s Olympic karate athletes.
“The government funding agencies are already talking about improving support for Karate B.C. and Canada so we can better train our athletes with regional centres, and coach support,” Mosdell said. “If you’re a young child you can look up to being a pro hockey or basketball athlete, now you can dream about being an Olympic karate athlete, this is big. I didn’t have this when I competed.”
Other Kenzen results from provincials include Mosdell’s seven-year-old son James, who won gold in kata and bronze in kumite for the seven-and-under category.
Ema Mosdell won kata bronze for the 8-9 intermediate girls. Robin Goraya won bronze in the 10-11 year old boys intermediate kumite. Olivia Brodie won bronze in the 10-11 girls advanced/black kata, silver in kumite and long-weapons bronze. And Dylan Gardener won bronze in the boys 8-9 novice kumite
Kenzen is also home to Team B.C. athletes 17-year-old Guillaume Claude, in the boys 16-17 kumite, and 32-year-old Steve Naeth in men’s open weight kumite.