A team of 16 Filipino karate players will see action in the 37th International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) United States National and International Goodwill Tournament in California from November 14 to 16.
The tournament, which was originally exclusive to karate practitioners from Northern and Southern American continents, extended an invitation to the Philippines because of the country’s notable feat in the 2012 edition of the World Shoto Cup in Cebu City.
The Philippine contingent will participate in both kata [forms]and kumite [sparring]events.
The team’s spokesperson Erica Samonte said that they aim for their young associates to gain international exposure.
Among the members of the squad are former national team members, who have competed in the Southeast Asian Games and in the Asian Games with ranks ranging from first dan black belt to seventh dan black belt.
Among the members of the team are David Lay Jr., Danilo Mojica 2nd, Jan Villamayor, Barry Orenciana, Eric Fermin, Mary Anne Ong, Mikaela Mahilum, Samonte, Reiner de Leon, Walter Gozum, Chester Alvisse, Raphael Sacdalan, Bryan Fontillas, Charles Bonagua and Alexander Lay.
“We have a very positive outlook. We believe everyone in the team will come home with a medal,” Samonte told The Manila Times before their departure from the Philippines.
She added that as part of their preparation for the competition, they increased the frequency of their usual training session.
“We added one to two additional training sessions to our usual Monday training and focused more on the competition aspect of the sport.”
The Philippines will battle competitors from Mexico, Canada and the US. Jaelle Nevin Reyes