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Jul 5, 2011

House of Shotokan wins 20 medals at competition in Mexico

A team of karatecas from the House of Shotokan has returned to Belize with an impressive number of medals. The athletes squared off against seven hundred others at the Copa del Caribe Taekwondo Competition held in Cancun over the past weekend.  Most of the medals were won in first place; it’s a feat that the athletes are proud of. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

House of Shotokan was invited to attend a Taekwondo competition in Cancun, Mexico. According to Grandmaster Shihan Ray Kelly, the delegates won twenty medals in KATA’s and fights.

Shihan Ray Kelly, Grandmaster, House of Shotokan

Ray Kelly

“Students from House of Shotokan Karate Academy participated in event in Cancun, the Copa del Caribe, which attracted more than seven hundred competitors from different parts of Mexico. The House of Shotokan did fantastic, fabulous—better than my expectation. A total of twenty medals were won by our students: sixteen first place; that is gold plated medals, two bronze and two silver. And also a third place cup for the team with the most wins for the tournament and the team with the most spirited fighter for the tournament.”

The competitors themselves were very proud of their placement in the Copa del Caribe Taekwondo Competition because by definition they study primarily Shotokan, not Taekwondo.

Sensei Carla Kuylen

“I competed in black belt division twenty-years old. I won first place in kata, first place in kumite. It was a great experience fighting with taekwondo people—something that they do every day. But again we are well prepared for any combat.”

Jose Diaz

Jose Diaz

“It was interesting exciting, exciting. I was not afraid. I was confident of what I know in karate even though taekwondo is completely different in a way. But it was very exciting being in another country representing Belize.”

Jose Sanchez

“What were your events and what were your medals?”

Jose Diaz

“Well the red ones were for the third place in katas and this yellow one was first place in fighting.”

Martin Sylvester

Martin Sylvester

“The competition was very good because we always kept a serious face so that we could intimidate them and it worked and that’s why we won first place in fighting and third place in kata.”

Craghan Cleland

Craghan Cleland

“I won first place in fighting and second place in forms, kata.”

Jose Sanchez

“This was your first competition. Were you nervous?”

Craghan Cleland

“Yes I was nervous, but I did what I had to do.”

Jeshaun Frazer

Jeshaun Frazer

“I won bronze in forms, kata, and I won first place in fighting.”

Jose Sanchez

“And what was the experience like?”

Jeshaun Frazer

“It was great for me because I got to fight taekwondo students with a a lot of kicks and forms.”

Xaria Cleland

Xaria Cleland

“I won two medals; second and second.”

Jose Sanchez

“Were you afraid?”

Xaria Cleland

“A little bit.”

Landon Cocom

Landon Cocom

“Third place in fighting and second place in kata.”

Jose Sanchez

“And what was the experience like with the Mexicans?”

Landon Cocom

“Good.”

Carmelita Kuylen

Carmelita Kuylen

“I won first in kata and first place in fighting and it was a black belt division.”

Jose Sanchez

“And what was the experience like?”

Carmelita Kuylen

“The experience was very good for us since we basically don’t go out but now we are often going out. Our next tournament is this month, the twenty-third of July in Merida.”

Shihan Ray Kelly

“That was great because again it is a first time for the country of Belize and it is something that I have always been pushing to say that in the country of Belize has outstanding martial artists. Here at the House of Shotokan Karate, given opportunity to go out, I’ve taken these youngsters out to Mexico and they did a bang up job. It just shows that with their skills and their knowledge that they get from our training here, they can do a fantastic and fabulous in any competition.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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