FARMINGTON – Seven members of the Maine Shotokan Karate Association-SKIF School entered the annual University of Maine Open Karate Tournament on April 12, carrying away a wealth of trophies.

“Winning in this fashion against so many participants goes to show what an awesome Karate syllabus we all strive to learn and master at our dojo,” said instructor Mike Cook of Farmington. “We meet and train three times a week. We all accept the philosophy that ‘good enough’ is never quite good enough.”

With martial arts students from four states and Canada participating, the local delegation served notice early in the day when 8-year-old Olivia Clarke took first place in Kata, Heian Yondan, outperforming more than a dozen competitors in her division.

Following on Olivia’s heels was older brother Ragnar Clarks, who finished third in Heian Nidan Kata against a tough group of challengers. And rounding out the family was local roofing contractor Bill Clarke, a Karate beginner who captured a surprising victory in Heian Shodan Kata.

Deb Scammon, a yellow belt from Strong, placed a solid fourth in Kata in the 18-to-34 age bracket in her first-ever tournament.

Milt Baston, also of Strong and a veteran of many state, national and international tournaments, took first in the men’s 35-and-over Kata division. Baston is a fourth-degree black belt. Cook wound up second in the class.

In the women’s advanced black belt division, Lisa Turner of Rome (third-degree) performed an almost flawless Nijushiho Kata to claim the victory. Turner, an Iraq War veteran and karate instructor, has more than 36 years of Shotokan Karate training and has competed successfully around the world.

Turner also won this year’s Top Overall Karate Competitor grand championship in the tournament, defeating 10 men’s and women’s black belts.


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