Kishindo team rules Tiger Balm invitational 

Kishindo Martial Arts Whistler brought a team of almost 20 athletes to the Tiger Balm Invitational in North Vancouver last week, with students taking part in point fighting, continuous fighting and forms competitions. It was the first tournament ever for 14 competitors, but since Kishindo was easily the largest team in the tournament the students spent a lot of time facing each other in the ring.

Nilo Pena had the best day of all the students, winning his age category for point fighting (PF) and continuous fighting (CF).

Also placing first was Matt Riddle (first in CF), Matt Ogilvie-Turner (first in CF, fifth in PF), Archie Mahoney (first in CF, fifth in PF) and Dylan Brennan (first in PF).

Ken Champion was second in CF and fifth in PF, Luke Lister was third in CF and fifth in PF, Connor Priest was second in CF and fourth in PF, Liam Long was second in PF and third in CF, Ethan Reagan was third in CF and fourth in PF, Liam Rivera was third in CF and fifth in PF, Kieran Ross Kelly was second in PF and fifth in CF, Gabby Smith was fourth in PF and third in CF, Tiaga Iida was second in CF and fourth in PF, Kadin Stanger was fifth in PF, River Stanger was fourth in PF and Branden Skoupas fifth in PF.

Kanta Onishi, competing in the black belt division, was fifth in PF, sixth in CF and sixth in forms, or katas.

For the most part Sensei Cole Manson's students did best in the continuous sparring competitions.

"Usually in continuous fighting the winner is quite clear at the end, as to who dominated the fight and scored more hits," explained Manson. "My students are very aggressive.

"In point fighting sometimes there are big mismatches in size and reach plays a big role. Even when the judges try their best to call the scores sometimes the calls are questionable and it could be anyone's match."

Also, the continuous tournament took place in the morning when the Kishindo students were rested, while point sparring took place later in the afternoon. "It can be very tiring just waiting around all day, for all the people involved," he said.

The Tiger Balm is one of the largest martial arts competitions in the province.

Next up for Kishindo is the B.C. Open on April 29 in New Westminster, followed by a west coast Can-Am tournament on May 29 at BCIT.

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