Lahaina Dojo takes part in JKA karate tournament

October 3, 2022

Lahaina tournament participants with their awards

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japan Karate Association Fall Tournament was held on Saturday, Sept. 17, at the University of Hawaii Maui College.

Participants in the traditional Shotokan Karate Do style competition included JKA Hawaii students from Honolulu and the host Maui Karate Association organization, as well as competitors from the Lahaina Dojo of the JLKS. Karate Ka in the event ranged in age from six to 67 and from beginners to decades-long practitioners. The tournament is organized and hosted by MKA Hawaii Chief Instructor Deron Furukawa and his wife, Kit Furukawa, and officiated by JKA Hawaii Chief Instructor Sensei Hiro Maeda from Honolulu.

This year’s event attracted 53 entrants competing in the kata (formal exercises) in the morning, and kumite (controlled and free sparring) in the afternoon.

Guided by Lahaina Dojo Chief Instructor Walter Chihara and Senior Instructor Glenn Delatori, the West Side club was represented by 23 karate ka and a spirited support group of family and friends.

In the kata competition that is divided by age, gender and rank, the team won six medals, including one gold.

After lunch provided by the MKA Hawaii hosts, the kumite competition provided the packed lounge with excitement galore. In the controlled, basic sparring for beginners and intermediate practitioners, the West Side students won seven medals, including three first place winners. In the advanced events for brown and black belts, Lahaina Dojo captured three golds, including first place in the featured adult black belt category.

Lahaina’s Jacob Arakawa led the way in the event and was joined by club mates Glenn Delatori, Clint Parola and Aaron Coon, as well as Gina Parola, Michella Cabingas, Afnan Oleiwan and Dania Oleiwan in the female black belt division. The youth brown belts were Pohaku Akima, Minori Hironaka, Haweo Gonzales and Keanu Medo. Lahaina Dojo’s Christina Tau sparkled in the female intermediate category with gold medals in both kata and kumite. Right behind her was Emily Salazar with two silvers, Lexi Tau with two bronze medals, and April Garcilazo. Kairee Manoha followed up with two bronze medal finishes.

Luke Schmid and Andy Barca competed in the adult beginners division, preceded by the keiki beginners events, where Derrick Chen and Avin Coon won gold medals in sparring, and a bronze and a silver, respectively, in kata. Alexandra Perminova won a silver in kumite, and Emily Perminova took third place in kata.

The tournament concluded with the featured awards presented by Maeda Sensei to Benson Leung of Oahu for Most Outstanding Male, to Megan Kurisu of MKA for Outstanding Female, and to MKA’s Makiko Osawa for Most Outstanding Spirit.

All in all, it was an exciting and eventful experience for everyone. Kudos to Sensei Deron Furukawa, Kit Furukawa and the entire Maui Karate Association Hawaii club for hosting such a well organized and spirited event.

The tenants of traditional Karate Do, including respect and discipline, were displayed to the highest levels. Congratulations to all!

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