The Trail Martial Arts club brought home the hardware after an incredible performance at the Western Canadian Tae Kwon-Do championships in Kelowna last week.
The local club sent 24 Tae Kwon-Do practitioners to compete in the tournament and won a total of 22 medals.
Trail Martial Arts’ head instructor Jason Ayles attributes the performance to a number of helping hands.
“The schools success comes from my senior students (higher ranked students) and my staff always going above and beyond helping out the junior students,” said Ayles. “Just like anything, you can’t climb a high mountain alone. I am very privileged and blessed to have such great students and staff.”
But Ayles, who started the club about three years ago, also received kudos for his own great work with Trail martial arts.
Tae Kwon-Do International Canada named Ayles instructor of the year.
“It was at first very surprising to hear my name but I was honoured and very excited to receive this prestigious award,” said Ayles.
The Trail resident received the award from Tae Kwon-Do pioneer Grand Master C.K. Choi, ninth-degree blackbelt, and Master Dan Zaleski, eighth-degree blackbelt.
The 28-year-old Ayles is a second-degree black belt who still competes. Last year Ayles finished in the top 10 at a tournament in Texas and competed for Team Canada at the Tae Kwon-Do World Championship in England in 2010.
Tae kwon-do techniques are based on centuries old knowledge that combines exercise, skill, self-discipline and concentration that develops ones ability to defend oneself as much as it helps reduce stress and incorporate a high ethical standard.
The Canadian Championships will be held in Kelowna next year a couple months before the World Championships in London England.
The successful competitors will have a sponsored place on team Canada.
Tournament results: Mattias Hoffman picked up three gold medals in Patterns, Sparring and high jumping front kick, while Mary Ann MacLean won gold in Patterns and Sparring. Gold also went to Mike Ganzert in High Jumping Front Kick, Owen Waite in Patterns, James French for Patterns and Sam Miller in Sparring. Emma Maclean also took gold in Patterns and a bronze in sparring while Justin Kulik won silver in Patterns and bronze in Sparring. Cameron Cosbey grabbed silver in Sparring, Ben Boyes won two bronze in Patterns and Sparring, Amos Lawrason a silver in Patterns, Paul MacLean won bronze in Sparring, Kelly Waite took silver in Patterns and bronze in Sparring, John MacLean won bronze in Patterns, and Keaton Dixon-Reusz nabbed a bronze in Sparring.
Trail Martial Arts club has grown to about 100 students with classes five days a week at its location on Bay Avenue.