A group of karate athletes from Greater Victoria is heading off to Switzerland to compete in an international Kimura Shukokai Karate tournament.
The group trains at a pair of dojos in Brentwood Bay and Deep Cove run by David and Kristina Bentley, and for brothers Isaac and Lex Petrick, it will be their first international tournament and their first time travelling outside of North America.
”Obviously we are a little nervous for internationals, we’ve never really been abroad before, but I’m pretty sure we are going to be able to do well,” said Isaac Petrick. “It’s going to be a lot tougher competition than we are used to on the Island though.”
The pair have been training since 2016 and have competed in numerous Vancouver Island and provincial tournaments since. What started as an opportunity to learn a bit of self defence and enjoy a solo sport after learning team sports were not for them, karate has become a passion and a source of many friendships.
But like all of the 23 competitors and parents heading to Switzerland, the Petricks have had to earn their spots in the tournament, and their preparation for it is no joke.
Lex said beyond their regular three days a week at the dojo, they have been attending extra practice sessions and filling much of their free time performing katas – detailed series of karate moves performed without an opponent to help train and improve transitions between moves used in an actual match.
“We’re always working on the basics because that generally makes your fight better. It’s your base, so if you have a tower without a good base, you won’t do well,” said Lex Petrick.
While they have yet to make their international debut – that comes on July 22 and 23 when the tournament gets underway – the Petricks are already planning for the future.
“I’d like to do a couple more worlds at least, stick with it for another few years. I’m hoping to win gold eventually, probably not this time, but eventually,” said Isaac Petrick.
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