Canada took part in the 2017 Itosu-Ryu Karatedo International Championships on August 18 and 19, in Shanghai, China. After two days of competition, Daniel Tsumura captured Silver in the Black Belt Individual Kata (age 36-49) and Bronze in Black Belt Individual Kumite (age 36-49). Other notable finishes include:
Andrea Tabini (JCCC Dojo) placed in the top 8 for Junior Male/Female Kata (age 11-12)
Michael Bruder (Honbu Dojo) finished 4th in Black Belt Individual Kumite (age 36-49)
Mark Uyeda (Honbu Dojo) placed in the top 8 Black Belt Men's (age 50 & over)
Tsumura Sensei (6th Dan) is the son of Shihan Kei Tsumura (8th Dan), Chief Instructor and President of the Shito-Ryu Itosu-Kai Karate and Kobudo Association Canada. He and Sensei Mark Uyeda (6th Dan) train at the Honbu Dojo in Toronto, but comes weekly to teach and coach at the JCCC. In 2014, Shihan Tsumura was inducted into the Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame.
The Itosu-Ryu world tournaments take place every four years. Past tournaments were held in Osaka, Japan; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Los Angeles, U.S.A. This year featured over 600 competitors from 26 nations, including Canada, Ireland, Japan, Italy, Australia and the United States. Canada has historically fared well in each tournament. Past Canadian competitors include Laila Azizi (JCCC) and Sue Lindsay (Manatisowin) in 2009, and Reg Shaw (Owen Sound) in 2005.
In addition to the world competitions, two tournaments are held each year at the Japanese-Canadian Cultural Centre. Competitors at the semi-annual tournaments come from across Canada, Europe and the United States. The next tournament will be in November 2017.
The Itosu-Ryu style of karate comes from a long and distinguished lineage. Its first Soke (or headmaster of a school of Japanese martial arts) was Yasutsune 'Anko' Itosu; considered by many to be the father of modern karate. Kenwa Mabuni became the 2nd Soke when he founded the Shito-Ryu style of karate. One of Soke Mabuni's most prominent students was Ryusho Sakagami, who rose to become the third Soke of Itosu-Ryu. The fourth and current Soke of Itosu-Ryu is Sadaaki Sakagami, the son of Ryusho Sakagami.
Congratulations to all the Canadian competitors. Special thanks to the supporters of Team Canada: Mrs. Tabini, Mr. Bhattacharya, Gaila Uyeda, and Margie Uyeda.