Paradis, Grover win awards

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NORWAY – Maine Kyokushin Karate held its second inner-school tournament of the year on June 23.

Students from age 4 and up competed in two different categories, katas and kumite. Katas are considered forms, or a series of martial arts techniques. These katas get more complicated as students progress toward their black belts. Kumite means sparring, which is done with protective gear under a series of specific rules.

Maine Kyokushin Karate holds six tournaments throughout the year, with students earning points according to their finish. The student with the most points at the end of the year is crowned MKK’s Grand Champion. There are three grand champions per year: One each from the Little Ninjas program (ages 3-7), Samurai program (8-13) and teen/adult program.

First through fourth places were awarded in each division. Also awarded were two traditional awards: The Sempai’s Spirit Award and the Shihan’s Spirit Award, presented to students showing outstanding spirit, respect, discipline and perseverance. The Sempai’s Spirit Award went to Jason Paradis, 6, of Otisfield. Alex Grover, 9, of Norway, won the Shihan’s Spirit Award.

Students and spectators also had a chance to witness a demonstration of MKK’s newest program, Chanbara. It is a nationwide foam weapons program in which students battle with padded swords while wearing headgear. Chanbara is considered an ancient art with a modern twist. Chanbara and Ju-Jitsu, a grappling program taught at MKK by Scott Buffington, are competition divisions that will be added to subsequent inner-school tournaments. The next tournament is scheduled for August. For more information about Maine Kyokushin Karate, call 743-8801 or go to www.mkkarate.com.

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