Huge kicks, sharp strikes, powerful punches, and broken baseball bats filled the scene as the Shinkyokushinkai NEU Karate Club, led by Sensei Richard Picar and Senpai Paul Magahis, put on an amazing show during the Unity Games Expo held at the Philippine Arena, last Dec. 29, 2018.
The said demonstration started at around 11:45am, which involved amazing feats including kihon, ido geiko, kata, and the demo’s highlight, the bat breaking of Senpai Emmanuelle Santiago, Senpai Joshua Anilao, and Sensei Richard Picar— gaining huge claps and cheers, and leaving the audience in awe.
In an interview, Senpai Paul Magahis shared how they were able to perform in the said event: “We were sent an invitation to participate in the expo, and it was said that there is an opportunity for us to perform. We immediately jumped at the chance since it is a great opportunity not only for the students, but for the whole Shinkyokushinkai family as well.”
Senpai Tristan Ilay, a 1st kyu karateka and a former student of NEU, also shared his experiences prior to the event. According to him, he was so overwhelmed because they were able to perform well despite the fact that they practiced for only a week.
“There were a lot of sacrifices for this demo– early calltime, canceled vacations, work, and many more. But despite these, everyone still chose to train and practice; showing their deep commitment and passion for the sport. I hope this event becomes a stepping stone for Karate to be known and to be embraced by the public,” he added.
On the other hand, the said performance was more than just a martial art demonstration. It was also a commitment of sending out a message of peace through Karate. Because along with the powerful and symbolic routines, there is this reminder that sports has an important role in the society.
According to Sensei Richard, the demo aims to show and remind everyone that Karate is for self-defense. It should not be used as a means of hurting and bullying others..
“As a Karate instructor, never have I imagined using my skills nor teaching my students to use their skills to bully others. A true martial artist should embody the virtues of discipline and humility. A martial artist should use his skills to protect himself and others– not to cause them harm. I hope and I believe we were able to clearly deliver this message through our demonstration,” sensei ended.
Meanwhile, the Unity Games Expo in which the NEU Karate Club participated in is an annual event conducted by the religious sector Iglesia ni Cristo, which aims to showcase the skills and talents through sports such as basketball, taekwondo, karate, and the like.
By: Joanna Guadalupe/7th kyu