Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
October 28th - 30th, 2005
Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi, 9th Dan, (FSKA)
Chief Instructor, Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association
A gathering of FSKA karateka from around the world
Once again the Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association held it's Annual FSKA World Championship Tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 40,000 square foot Pavilion at the Stardust Hotel, located on the famous Las Vegas strip again played host to this years event.
Instructors, students, family members, and friends, as usual came from a great many countries around the world. This year there were twenty-one countries represents including, U.S.A., Canada, France, England, Ireland, Mexico, Czech Republic, South Africa, Macedonia, Poland, Nepal, and Puerto Rico, just to name a few. As always this event is a great opportunity for all of us to renew old friendships, to make new ones, and to practice the art of Shotokan Karate.
On the afternoon and evening of October 28th prior to the start of the tournament many students took the opportunity to join Shihan Funakoshi, Sensei Kevin Funakoshi, and Sensei Kyle Funakoshi, for a series of seminars covering kihon and a wide variety of katas. These courses always heavily attended and they afford all of those students who attend a detailed look at every aspect of the basics involved. For many students, especially those from Europe and Asia this event is a rare opportunity to get this knowledge first hand from the very best instructors that the FSKA has to offer.
Thank you Shihan Funakoshi
There is no better place to learn the art of karate than on the dojo floor, or at a quality seminar; videos, books, magazines, and other source material simply can not take the place of first hand experience under the watchful eye of a master. I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank Shihan Funakoshi for his knowledge and his willingness to pass it on to all of us who attended this years seminar.
Four Friends
Seen here with me at the end of the seminar are Sensei Selvan Govender, 5th Dan, Sensei Kyle Funakoshi, 6th Dan and Sensei Eric Govender, 6th Dan. Both Selvan and Eric were awarded their present rank after their grading on the Friday night before the start of last years tournament.
Dan Grading
At the conclusion of the seminar there was a Dan grading with students from three countries seeking to advance in rank. One student was from the USA trying for the rank of Sho Dan, one student was from South Africa trying for the rank of San Dan, and one student was from Nepal trying for the rank of Yon Dan. The grading included, kihon, kata, as well as the bunkai for each kata on their grading syllabus, and kumite. A good effort was put forth by all three students.
South Africa and Canada
This year, with the exception of competing in my kata division, the majority of my time was spend judging. Seen with me here is Sensei Eric Govender, 6th Dan, from South Africa. In August of this year event Shihan Funakoshi made his first visit to South Africa which was a great success.
A long way from home
The largest contingent at this years tournament by far was from South Africa, a true indication of the great success of Shihan Funakoshi's first visit to that country. A total of approximately 120 students, family and supporters made the thirty-five hour journey to Las Vegas and their spirit, enthusiasm, and high level of karate made them a force to be reckonded with in every event they entered.
Always in control
Sensei Cross, 7th Dan, from FSKA main dojo in Milpitas, California is a highly respected competitor and Chief Referee. As one of the most senior ranking FSKA sensei's his years of experience ensure that in his ring each student is adheres to the rules and is judged fairly. It is always a pleasure to be a corner to be a corner judge in his ring.
One of five
Each of the rings at an FSKA event has five judges, one on each of the four corners and a Chief Referee in the centre. As always the safety of the competitors, and unbiased judging, are two key ingredients for making every FSKA event a success, and this year was no exception.
Recognizing the winners
Each competitor received a certificate in recognition of their participation and a few got to take home a medal. The awards as with every other aspect of and FSKA event is carried out with the utmost courtesy and respect.
Adult Men's Sho Dan Kumite
The Adult Men's Sho Dan Kumite Division is always an action packed event and this year was no exception. After a series of very closely fought bouts, first place went to Chia Amor, of Shotokan KCR France, second place went to Thomas Balka, of FSKA/CKS, USA, and third place went to Dhan Raj Ghising, of Nepal Shotokan Karate Association.
Worn with pride
The gold, silver, and bronze winners in both the men's and ladies kata and kumite divisions could often be seen draped in the national colours of their respective countries. One of the primary reasons for the continuing growth of FSKA events on both the national and international level is the reputation the FSKA has for the fairness of the judging. Here a student from South Africa is about to accept a gold medal for his efforts.
Men's kumite
In a very entertaining event this years light-heavy weight division for men 45 - 49 saw first place go to Ernest Lopez of FSKA Vacaville, USA, second place to Neil Brodie of FSKA England, and third place to Rigo Carillo of FSKA King City, USA.
Four strong competitors
In the men's 40 - 45 year old division the sparring was very spirited indeed. In the end first place went to Lester Patilla of FSKA Milpitas, USA, second place went to Rafal Nowak of Harasuto Shotokan, Poland, third place went to Allen Renfrow of Traditional Karate, Owensboro, USA, and fourth place went to Shaun Millar of Centurion Shotokan, South Africa.
Well matched
In the ladies 20 - 21 year old kumite division the gold medal went to Agnieszka Olszewska of Bialostoki Klub Karate, Poland, while second place went to Jaime Lupkes of ASKF Lakeville, USA.
Team Poland
Second from the left is Sensei Janusz Harast, 6th Dan, Chief Instructor of Harasuto Shotokan. Dedication, hard work , and good sportsmanship best describe Team Poland, they came a long way to be at this years event and I hope they can make the trip again next year.
Sensei Ron Silverthorn, 6th Dan
A strong supporter of any FSKA event Sensei Silverthorn from FSKA Crawley, England, always brings a strong, competitive group, as such the members of his squad continue to do well at this annual event.
To one and all
Our dojo is proud to be affiliated with the Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association, and to support the Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association's World Championship Tournament. On behalf of all of the students from Westshore Karate Inc. who took part in this years FSKA World Championship, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi, his son's, Sensei Kevin Funakoshi, and Sensei Kyle Funakoshi, as well as all of the other FSKA instructors, judges, time keepers, score keepers, volunteers, and supporters, who helped to make this years tournament another truly excellent event.
We look forward to seeing all of you again in Las Vegas in October 2006 until then, good training.
Part the clouds - see the way.
"The objective of karate-do is to contribute to the evolution
of the human spirit through physical and mental training."
Sensei Peter Lindsay