A young karate initiate is on her way to the provincial championship after winning bronze at the regionals in Kelowna last month.
In just her second tournament, an enthusiastic Macy Verigin was the only Beaver Valley Chito-Ryu Karate student to qualify for the provincials and the first from the Kootenay-Boundary region in many years.
“I was very happy, and I was really excited when I got third,” said Macy.
The Fruitvale Elementary School student is in just her second year with the club, but has come a long way in such a short time, says Sensei Scott Hutcheson.
“She has a natural talent, this young Jedi. She brings a light to the class, an energy, and when you have people like that, that are like-minded, all together doing the same thing, we feed off each other.”
The provincial championship is a challenging step up from the Zone 1 and 2 regional tournament. Macy likely will compete in many rounds, as a result of the number of competitors.
The precocious 10-year-old will perform her Kata, a choreographed series of punches and kicks, against about 30 other young competitors who are judged on their ability to complete the movements with perfect form, balance, and technique using a base score of 6.0.
Five judges score the Kata by dropping the highest and lowest scores to come up with an average 18.0 base line.
The basic goal of kata is to preserve and transmit proven techniques. By practicing in a repetitive manner the learner develops the ability to execute those techniques and movements in a natural, reflex-like manner.
The relatively young club is in the growing process, but through Macy and his other students, Sensei Hutcheson has come to appreciate the value of competition in his students’ development.
“What competition has really showed me that through that competition, because it is so absolute, there’s a mistake or there isn’t, there’s a point scored or there’s not, you are truly seeking a perfection that you may not have sought or seem to seek. That’s actually something she’s (Macy) changed my opinion on and that’s pretty hard to do.”
The Beaver Valley Rec Dojo is always looking for practitioners of any age to join, and Sensei Hutcheson wants to continue developing a competitive element to his classes.
“For us to compete we have to go to the Okanagan and the Lower Mainland, what I’m trying to do is to develop the competitive karate around here, so we can get more people involved so we can actually start holding events and tournaments out here, so we don’t have to travel as far.”
Local karate students like Macy, as well as nine-year-olds Tyson Nelson and Megan Campsall, who just missed a spot on the provincial team by one place, have shown that they can compete and now Macy is looking forward to competing against B.C.’s best. However she keeps her expectations in check.
“I am not really sure how I’ll do, I know I’ll have to practice a lot though, but I have lots of time.”
The B.C. Championship goes at BCIT in Burnaby on Nov. 17-18. For more info on joining Chito-Ryu karate contact Beaver Valley Rec at 367-9319.