Karate Team Breaks More Than Boards in Windsor

This article first appeared in The Varsity (page 14) on Oct 4, 1993

By Ray Deonandan

Having fielded the largest team represented, the University of Toronto Karate Club returned victorious from the Sept. 26 Grand Prix Karate Tournament in Windsor, the first of four such events sponsored by the Karate Ontario Association each season.

Though renowned in many circles for its excellence in kata competition, the U of T team surprised skeptics by earning four gold medals in kumite. In such traditional contests, kata are pre-arranged sets of choreographed blocks and attacks whose merits are appraised by a panel of judges. Kumite is the sparring event that most people associate with martial arts.

In Kyu Belt (non-Black Bell) Team Kata, the squad of Cathy Reader, Judy Chow, and Mei Lan Sheppard took first place, while Chris Bertole, Ray Deonandan, and Mike Neumann secured the silver medal. In Women’s Black Belt Team Kata, Trudy Gollackner, Spam Grout, and Tammy Hennessy came away with the gold, and Rob Jesske, John McEwen, and Lee St. Aubin took second place in the men’s event.

Novice Men’s Individual Kata saw Yannis Kaptsis emerge triumphant as the gold medalist, while, in the Intermediate division, U of T scored twice with silver and bronze medals by Ray Deonandan and Mathew Cullen respectively. Judy Chow took second place in the women’s intermediate Kata.

Black Belt Women’s Kata saw Hennessy and Grout seize silver and bronze, while wily old veteran Steven Yap stole the gold once more in the Men’s division.

For the first time ever, the intermediate Kumite division was divided into weight categories. Enduring a recurring and unpleasant familiarity with the tournament doctor, Amir Ravandi smashed and bled his way to a impressive first place finish in the heavy-weight category.

The following Black Belts placed in their respective weight divisions: Grout (gold), Gollackner (silver). Yap (silver), Rob Segovia (gold), McEwen (gold), and St. Aubin (bronze). Special recognition is afforded Segovia and McEwen for whom this was either his first tournament, or his first tournament in a very long while.

The U of T Karate club, quartered in Hart House, is a social and friendly dojo, offering world-class instruction in traditional Shotokan style karate, counesy of Sensei Tominaga, seventh Degree Black Belt. Tournaments are completely optional, and available to all members regardless of experience or expertise. Anyone interested in joining is encouraged to do so, and may contact the Intercollegiate Office at the Department of Athletics and Recreation, or just show up for a work-out.

Ray Deonandan is a member of U of T’s Karate Club.