New Hamburg club learns karate skills and captures medals in Toronto

The New Hamburg Karate Club sent 20 students to a provincial tournament on Nov. 28, bringing back 21 medals.

This was the largest group the club has sent to a tournament, and leader Richard Hesch said he was very pleased with how students competed in Toronto.

“We did exceptionally well,” he said. “You don’t always do your best under high-pressure situations.”

The karate club has grown in recent years to almost 70 members, aged 4 to 65. They practice the Chito Ryu style of karate. At the tournament, they competed in kumite, or sparring, and kata, which is a judged routine.

Competing and earning black belts isn’t really the goal of karate, said Hesch. The sport offers a complete mix of strength, balance, speed, and endurance training.

It also teaches discipline and mental focus that also helps students outside the sport. Constant learning and personal growth are all part of the philosophy.

“It’s not just a hobby,” Hesch said. “It’s something that becomes part of you.”

The club will also send competitors to a national tournament this spring.

Results are as follows:
Zach Dredge – 2nd Kata
Josh Potts -3rd Kumite
Amber Dahmer – 3rd kata
Ethan Batte – 3rd Kumite
Owen Crouse – 2nd Kumite
Nolan Rooney – 1st Kata, 3rd Kumite
Rose Bendix – 2nd Kumite
Connor Crouse – 4th Kata
Maria Heemskerk – 1st Kata
Ben Heemskerk – 3rd Kata
Nathan Ward – 5th kata
Jesse Buchenauer – 2nd Kumite, 3rd Kata
Kurt Lowrick – 1st Kata and 2nd Kumite
Madisyn Garrity – 4th Kata
Mathiew Bailey – 4th Kumite
Scott Hay – 1st Kumite
Nickolas Linares – 1st Kata and 2nd Kumite
William Linares – 1st Kata and 2nd Kumite
Joe Brenner – 2nd Kata and 3rd Kumite
Evan Valenta – 4th Kata

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