On September 6, 2019 the strongest contenders of Karate from 33 different countries gathered for the most awaited 1st Asia Full Contact Karate tournament held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Not a day is wasted in preparation as our fighters did roadwork, outdoor trainings, watching their diets, and working out even when training is over. They disciplined themselves and focused on training their bodies as well as their hearts and minds even months before the competition.
September 7th, we started the weigh in and everyone passed. We have Tristan Ilay and Kenji Leyva at the below 65kg category, Conrado Ordonez at below 85kg, Pio Orly Languisan at below 75kg, Khrystine Mae Tapel at below 55kg, Hanzel Raguine at below 50kg, while Clarisse Camasis and Aila Padilla are Above 60kg category. After the weigh in , the set of rules were explained and our fighters went to the hotel to rest, anxious and excited at the same time for the battle that awaits them on the next day
September 8 was our big day as the tournament starts at 9am. Our fighters ate breakfast and took the bus to Stadium Juara at Kuala Lumpur. Then the matches started. The arena was packed with heavy kicks and powerful punches as the fighters battled for the win. On the first round, Tristan was victorious over Muhammad S. Azmi of Singapore, Kenji won versus PRSG of Sri Lanka, Conrado Ordoez won his match versus, Ki Baek Kim of Korea, and Pio Orly Languisan was successful against Hammad Rauf Mughal of Pakistan. On the other hand Clarisse Camasis lost versus Aimi Suzuki of Japan, Aila Denise Padilla was defeated by Noriko Yokoyama of Japan, Khrystine Mae Tapel won by versus İvanova from kazakstan which lead her to semi final round and Hanzel D. Raguine lost versus Hiraku Shiwa of Japan
On the second round, Condrado Ordonez lost facing Usama Arif of Pakistan, Pio Orly Languisan lost versus Hinidori Nakagawa of Thailand, while Tristan was defeated by Gabriel Yap of Malaysia. In the meanwhile, Kenji Leyva was able to beat Yung John Muk Tsz of Hongkong and proceeded to the next round. On the third round, Kenji Leyva was defeated in a hard fought battle against Gabriel Yap of Malaysia but still got the 3rd placer slot for the philippines.
After the tournament here comes the awarding. We are glad and proud that Jeral Kenji Leyva and Khrystine Mae Tapel got each placed 3rd on the rankings.
On the same date around 8PM, we gathered with the same folks we encountered earlier not to fight but to enjoy ourselves as we had the Sayonara party or farewell party. It was indeed, a fun-filled night. The once intense atmosphere from yesterday is now a light and jovial one as we got to meet, socialize, and also take pictures with people from different countries.
On September 9th, a seminar was held which includes basic techniques, and karatekas who are about to be promoted practiced Kata. It was headed by Shihan Kenji Midori.
Then the promotion started at exactly 10am headed by the president and founder of shinkyoukushinkai, Shihan Kenji Midori, with Shihan Sojuto, Shihan Nagashima, and Shihan Kobayashi. The karatekas are nervous as they are about to be observed by a set of highly respected set of judges. For the first test, they did Kihon, Ido Geiko, Kata, then 100 jump squats, and 50 push ups as part of physical test, where everyone passed. According to Senpai Aila “The first test in itself is not that hard, what’s hard is the pressure of being observed by the shihans.”
After that, they sparred with each other. Everyone passed for the Philippines apart from Prince Malvecino, 15 years old. Prince got hit by a solid punch on his right rib, and was not able to get back up in time. He was the youngest of all the karateka on the test.
When the event was finished, the esteemed Shihan Kenji Midori personally went and encouraged Prince to continue with training and that they will see each other on next year’s promotion. Prince vows that this setback will not stop him and he will use it as fuel for motivation as he strives to get better in Karate.
We are pleased to say that Joshua Anilao, Tristan Ilay, Hanzel Raguine, Aila Denise Padilla, Kenji Leyva, and Emmanuel Santiago were promoted to 1st Dan blackbelts. All smiles after the promotion as everyone took photos with each other and said their good byes before going to their respective countries.
As the tournament ends, our fighters bring home with them the experience that they had. We all look forward to the next and its for sure that we will come back stronger and better.