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Feb 8, 2016

House of Shotokan Excels in Mexico

This past Saturday, students from the House of Shotokan Karate Academy competed and won in an International Taekwondo Championships in Chetumal, Mexico. The tournament was organized by Black Belt Taekwondo Master Manuel Torres of Eagle Park Taekwondo and saw the participation of young athletes of Taekwondo academies from Merida, Cancun, and various schools within Chetumal.  After competing in six divisions, the Belize Team brought home eleven gold medals. Today, News Five spoke with three of the winners and Shihan Ray Kelly of the House of Shotokan Academy about the success. 


Shihan Ray Kelly, Sensei, House of Shotokan Karate Academy

“We had six students that traveled with us and the success of it was that all of them brought back gold medals. Some brought back two medals in their category while others brought back one. But overall, our school as recognized as having a lot of power; our kids made some of their kids—the Mexican kids—cry a little bit. But overall it was a fund activity for our children from the school.”


Ray Kelly

Duane Moody

“What would you say was the strategy that you guys used in the tournament?”


Shihan Ray Kelly

 “Well taekwondo is a kicking art. Here because I cross train with taekwondo and Shotokan, I was able to equip our students here to be able to compete in an all taekwondo tournament. They were a lot of kicking techniques; they made their points with the kicking technique—kicks to the head, kicks to the body—and also a lot of force, aggressive…which our fighters are aggressive, even though they are little. I think those were the two elements; their kicking ability and their aggressiveness to make those points is what brought it out.”


Hera Kumsal, Winner, Yellow Belt Division

“I feel awesome that I won two medals in my tournament.”


Hera Kumsal

Duane Moody

“Were you afraid when you were there?”


Hera Kumsal

“No I wasn’t.”


Duane Moody

“Talk to us about what you did to win?”


Eleazar Orellana

Hera Kumsal

“I tried to listen to what my teacher said. I had to practice my kicks a lot and I did. So that’s how I won the tournament.”


Eleazar Orellana, Yellow Belt Division

“I kicked and punched all that I could do. That’s why I was so worry that I couldn’t win.”


Duane Moody

“But you did [win].”


Eleazar Orellana



Shakien Gabriel

Shakien Gabriel, Winner, White Belt Division

“It felt great. I worked hard and I just accomplished my dreams.”


Duane Moody

“Talk to us about the training that you did to prepare for the tournament.”


Shakien Gabriel

“Well my teacher always told me to make your dream possible, so I followed his advice and I won.”


Kumsal, Orellana and Gabriel won two medals each in their respective categories. Ernesto Portillo competed in the white belt division while Elias Meyers and Samara Vasquez challenged the Mexicans in the male and female brown belt division. They too brought home gold medals. 

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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1 Response for “House of Shotokan Excels in Mexico”

  1. Taratela says:

    How proud I am to call these little Belizeans my co-nationals!! Congratulations you have made us proud!

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