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Apr 12, 2016

House of Shotokan Prevails in Weekend Karate Tournament

A group of five karatekas from the House of Shotokan Karate Academy headed to Chetumal over the weekend where they participated in an invitational martial arts tournament.  The event drew contestants from as far north as Tabasco and when all the kicks and punches had been thrown; Belize emerged victorious with a total of nine medals and a trophy.  Shihan Ray Kelly, the karate instructor at the House of Shotokan, tells us more.


Shihan Ray Kelly, Sensei, House of Shotokan Karate Academy

“This past Saturday, House of Shotokan Karate Academy was invited to participate in a championship in Chetumal, Mexico. This championship is special because it drew competitors from throughout Mexico—Veracruz, from Tabasco, Cancun—different parts that normally do not come up in Chetumal with their students to compete. Our school from Belize was invited to this championship this past Saturday. The students did exceptional; they competed in the various divisions and Belize was definitely placed on the map with the competitors knowing that there is a school to be reckoned with in Belize. Fighters out of Tabasco got hit hard a little bit, but it was a fun day for all the participants in the event. So overall it was a great event for the students here from Belize and the students from the House of Shotokan.”


Ray Kelly

Isani Cayetano

“Did this require any special preparation or training leading up to the weekend’s event?”


Shihan Ray Kelly

“Yes, I worked with the children a little bit extensive on their forms because within this tournament there were kata or forms competition and there were also fighting competitions. So we had to get the extra fighting in with the kids with their equipment and the routine of going over the katas over and over again to make sure that when they perform that they would not forget their katas. I have to first give credit to the children and their hard work. They put the time in, they put the work in and it is paying off. Myself because I am a four-time World Champion from the United States; I’ve competed in martial arts over forty-six years I’ve been in this discipline. I know what it takes to get them to the top of the mountain so subsequently hat is what you are seeing. The energy and the time and effort that I am putting in them, it is paying off. I know you are seeing the fruits of their labor which is the win, the medals; Belize getting recognized throughout the different parts of Mexico.”


Samara Vasquez won a pair of medals in women karate forms and fighting events.  Landom Cocom won second place in the teens fighting division, while Kody Cuellar, Hera Kumsal and Ernesto Portillo also medaled.

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 Prevails in Weekend Karate Tournament”

  1. Sandra says:

    Congratulations Samara Vasquez you played exceptionally well!!! keep up the good work….

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