November 2017, one hundred and twenty competitors from ages 5 to 75 from across North America traveled to Grace King High School in Metairie for the annual National & Collegiate Karate Championships, hosted by the Japan Karate Association/American Federation. Karate athletes competed in forms (kata) and sparring (kumite) and are graded on their body mechanics, timing and power.
One of the most exciting matches of the event was LKA’s Abdullah Jarushi (2nd dan) vs. JKA NorCal’s Wauriman Borges (5th dan) in the semi-final round. Abdullah took the match to double overtime, scoring half points (waza-ari)
with a reverse punch, and then a classic, Mikami-style front kick-straight punch. Wauriman’s front kick earned the match point, and he went on to win the finals. Both competitors demonstrated strong fighting spirit and dynamic technique.
Fighting spirit was shown that day again when LKA’s Cathy Jarushi suffered a foot injury from a block in a match on Saturday. Sunday, she walked into the tournament with a brace on her foot, and she still chose to fight! Her determination earned her first in the women’s senior kumite division against a competitor from Miami and gold with the LKA Women’s Kumite Team.
However, the foot injury took Cathy out of the Team Kata competition. During the elimination round, Cathy, Rachel Kattawar and Kellan Lyman performed Gion, earning a top 2 spot out of 3 teams to move onto finals Sunday. Kaitlin Baudier stepped up to sub for Cathy and the team performed Gangkaku against Miami, earning silver.
The tournament was an overall success, with strong representation from clubs of all regions of the country and being injury-free. The event also marked the first tournament supported by the 3 Japan Karate Association (JKA) organization’s in the United States, JKA/WF Americas, SKDI and JKA/AF, as well as the Amateur Athletic Union. Watch footage from Nationals on the new LKA YouTube page.
Congratulations to all competitors for training hard and showing their best technique and strong fighting spirit!
Kata medalists from the LKA Karate Club include:
LKA Women’s Kata Team – 2nd place
Cathy Jarushi, Rachel Kattawar, Kellan Lyman, Kaitlin Baudier
Kumite Medalists from the LKA Karate Club include:
LKA Women’s Kumite Team
Cathy Jarushi, Raymunda Semana, Kellan Lyman