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Jan 29, 2010

Youths chop and kick their way to the top in karate competition

29-1-10-22It’s not one of the dominant sports, but Karate is becoming increasingly popular among primary and secondary school students. It is being promoted, not only as an opportunity to learn self defense, but also as a healthy and discipline centered activity for the youths. Evidence of the sport’s growth in Belize, was a national competition held today in preparation to compete against other Central American Countries in the CODICADER games. News Five’s Delahnie Bain joined the supporters on the bleachers of the City Center and then caught up with the top students in the competition.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

When you hear about karate, sparring immediately comes to mind.  There is, however, one form of the sport that is all about detailed, choreographed movement and that is called Kata. While it is the artistic side of martial arts, perfecting Kata takes hard work and discipline, as was displayed in a competition at the City Center today.

[Karate displays…]

Leon Guild

Leon Guild

Leon Guild, Vice President, Belize Karate Federation

“Today’s competition was about formalizing the youth karate team for the country. The CODICADER team is a competition for teenagers between the age of thirteen to seventeen and what we’re doing is we’re scouting for new talent and updating the old.”

Today’s event was the first national competition at the high school level and the participants—both male and female—hit the mat with determination to take the number one spot in the intermediate and advanced categories. The winners sported their trophies with pride at the end of the matches.

29-1-10-17Kara Pastor, 1st Place, Advanced Female

“It feels very good because most of the time my sisters win me so it felt good to be the smallest and win them, especially on my birthday.”

Romain Romero, 1st Place, Advanced Male

“Ih just feel good. It feels like we did a history or something.”


Stephanie Robateaux, 1st Place, Intermediate Female

“It feels really great cause, as they said, we’re going down in history as the first people to hold a high school tournament and being in first place, it’s a great honour.”

Joshua Goff, 1st Place, Intermediate Male

Joshua Goff

Joshua Goff

“I feel good and I just want to say that I’m happy that my brother came to support me in winning the trophy.”

By all accounts, winning the trophies took countless hours of rigorous training to impress the officials.

Stephanie Robateau

“We train all year round and if it wasn’t for my mom, my parents, I wouldn’t be here winning this cause it was her idea to put me in karate.”

Romain Romero

“My sensei used to push we. We used to come Saturdays, Mondays Tuesdays; a lot.”

Leon Guild

“The first thing is focus. When they are doing their Kata, they have to convince us that they are actually fighting imaginary people. It has to be convincing basically, they just have to convince the judges and at the end when it’s time to vote the person that convinces the judges the most is the person that wins the vote.”

Karate may not be as popular as football or basketball, which dominate the scene, but the facilitators as well as the students hope more people will get involved.

Kara Pastor

“I think it’s something that other females should do because there are a lot of ordinary sports like football and volleyball and karate is just outgoing and fun and you get to travel and experience news things.”

Stephanie Robateaux

“When you do karate, you feel free. When you make a mistake, people help you instead of laughing. So it feels good because you know there are people there to back you up and support you because even if I didn’t win, they would still be happy with me.”

Leon Guild

“We’re trying to target every aspect and explore every age range—from primary school, to high school, the adults, males, females and basically that is our method. That is our procedure to make it more attractive for the general Belizean public.”

Stephanie Robateau

Stephanie Robateaux

Along with bragging rights and their trophies, the today’s winners also get first preference to try out for national team. The next competition will be in the Kumite aspect of Karate. And when that comes around it will be a literal fight for first place. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

The national high school competition is expected to become an annual event.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Youths chop and kick their way to the top in karate competition”

  1. Stephanie Raboteaux says:

    I still can’t believe it! 1st place feels so amazing!! it has been a full 24hrs, so I’m pretty sure I’m not dreaming:-)

  2. Fascinating, enjoy to read this. I have already tagged this, I will be coming back to this page soon I am 100% sure.

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