Focus Karate Academy students who completed at the 32nd Annual KICKSUSA NATIONALS Karate Championships in Gardiner on May 18. Front row from left to right: Bradley Bordeau, Kai Baker; Back row from left to right: Gavin MacDonald, Kayla Provencher, Caleb Mills. Submitted photo

GARDINER — Four members of the Focus Karate Academy of Rumford recently competed in the 32nd Annual KICKSUSA NATIONALS Karate Championships in the James A. Bragoli Memorial Gym at Gardiner High School. All four students received medals in their respective skill levels and events.

“You’re facing the best students in New England”, said Kayla Provencher who’s Renshi (instructor) and owner of K.P.’s Focus Karate on Canal Street in Rumford. “The competition is at a high level.”

Caleb Mills earned two bronze medals, placing third in both the Men’s Black Belt Kata (hands-free forms) and Weapons Kata (weapons forms). Gavin MacDonald took two gold medals, winning both the male 13-14 year-old intermediate skills Kata and Weapons Kata, and received the bronze medal in Kumite (sparring). Kai Baker earned a gold medal in male 9-10 year-old novice skills Kata and took the bronze in Kumite. Bradley Bordeau earned a fourth-place medal in male 9-10-year-old advanced skills Kata and placed fifth in Weapons Kata.

The event was sanctioned by S.M.A.R.T.  — State Martial Arts Ratings & Totals — and was held on May 18. Dozens of participants from youth to adult and all skill levels entered the tournament.

“We really had to work hard,” 13-year-old Gavin MacDonald said about the high level of talent at the tournament. “There are no participation trophies here.”

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