10th World Open Karate Tournament
November 4-6, 2011
Tokyo, Japan

On Sunday October 30th my family and I departed to Tokyo for the 10th Open World Tournament.  A large group from western Canada would be meeting us there including some people from Calgary. It was a long flight filled with anticipation. I was unsure of what to expect upon arrival. All I knew was that I would be in for a major culture shock by one of the largest and famous cities in the world. The whole experience started for me once we had arrived at the airport. The signs and airport broadcast all in Japanese were the first introduction to the Japanese culture. We were lucky enough to have Shihan Don Corrigal on our flight and he helped navigate us through the airport and to the train station. Now that we had some idea of where we were headed I was able to slightly relax and take in the sights as we took the Japanese transit line to our hotel in the Ikebukuro district.

My family and I had spent a couple days in the Ikebukuro district exploring the city and establishing a knowledge base of our surroundings. There was so much to take in on the first few days; everything was different. The buildings, vehicles, infrastructure, customs and cuisine of the city were all so different than Canada and definitely took some getting used to. Even amidst all of this culture shock there were some comforts of home like McDonaldfs, Starbucks, 7-11 and even Subway. I was impressed to see the cleanliness of such a large and densely populated city. The streets were all garbage free and nobody seemed to litter whatsoever. I have nothing but good things to say about the people and the service in Japan as well. Everybody was so accommodating and always willing to help; it gave me the impression that their culture thrives off of respect and goodwill.

After the third day I had to leave my parents and the others and head off to the Tokyo Olympic Plaza to stay with all of the other fighters competing in the tournament. The plaza provided me with a once in a lifetime experience. Once there, I was introduced to a small dorm like room where I would be staying with other members of Team Canada. It was a great experience being with all of the other team members for a couple days before and during the tournament. The plaza also provided another large part of the tournament experience for me because all of the fighters from around the world were staying there. It was surreal to walk around the plaza and see all of the fighters representing their nations, recognizable either by their reputation in the Kyokushin world and by their nationfs team tracksuit.

The first event for the 10th World Tournament was the Friendship tournament. This event was for the world junior competitors and the world senior (35+) competitors. From western Canada we had 4 competitors, two of which were from our own dojo in Calgary. Representing not only Calgary but Canada in the world junior tournament were Alex and Andrew Sedore. The other competitors representing Canada were Jake Peacock of Banff, AB (Junior Competitor) and Keith Klughart of Nelson, BC (Senior Competitor).

Andrew had fought earlier in the day against a Japanese fighter; his hard work from his training in Canada was definitely visible in his fight. Andrew fought a spirited fight and in the end lost his fight by decision. Alexfs fight was against a tough Russian opponent. Alex also had a strong showing and never backed down, despite being on the smaller end of the weight difference between them. In the end Alex had also lost by decision. Even though our fighters had lost in the first round, I am positive that this experience was a positive one with the strong potential to motivate them to improve their fighting skills and hopefully establish a successful international career. They represented our club really well and I was really proud of how they fought.

The next day was the first day of the World Open Tournament and I was scheduled to fight in the morning. We had arrived at the venue early so that I could warm up in the sub-gym before being called up to fight in the ring. I was nervous and extremely excited for my chance to fight. I had been waiting for this experience for a long time and now it was finally my chance to take part in this historic event. My fight was against Yoshitatsu Beppu of Japan.  The fight was going well. We were both exchanging hard punches and low kicks. He was a strong puncher and experienced in fighting on the international stage. In the end I had lost by decision. At first I was upset by the loss, as my goal was to make it further than the first round. However, the experience that I had gained from that fight was invaluable. The experience will not only add to my technical fighting skill but it will play a huge role in increasing my comfort in the ring.

Even though I was out of the tournament, I stayed to support, watch and help coach our remaining fighters. Even though none of the Canadian fighters in the Menfs open had won their first fight they all fought hard and represented Canada well. The world womenfs tournament also took place over the weekend and all of the Canadian women fought well. Julie Lamarre of Montreal placed 2nd in the world.

The most memorable part of the trip for me was watching the final day of fights. There were so many renowned fighters left in tournament matching up against each other and the intensity of the fights increased as the afternoon went on. In the final fight of the tournament we watched the current world tournament champion Ewerton Texiera fight against a young Russian fighter named Tariel Nikoleisvili. It was an amazing fight to watch and it went two extensions. At the end of the day we saw Tariel Nikoleisvili of Russia win the World Title.

This trip was a great experience for me and its one that I will never forget. I would like to thank Shihan Stuart, Sensei Tats, Sensei Brad, and the Canadian Team for all of the work they provided in helping me prepare for this tournament. I would also like to thank everybody who came to Japan from Calgary in support of this event; they are: Michelle Gillespie, Tim Pullar, Craig and Robin Meckelborg, Doug Potter, Nola, Lawrence, Cam, Alex and Andrew Sedore and my parents. Furthermore I would like to thank everybody from Canada who came to this event either as supporters or as competitors. It was your help and support that made this a richer experience for me and Ifm sure all of the other competitors. Thank you.

Osu,

Jordan Forget 

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Official Results

1st: Tariel Nikoleishvili (Russia)
2nd:
Ewerton Teixeira (Brazil)
3rd: Goderzi Kapanadze (Russia)
4th: Makoto Akaishi (Japan)
5th: Zahari Damyanov
(Bulgaria)
6th: Nikolai
Davydov (Russia)
7th: Oleksandr Ieromenko
(Ukraine)
8th:
Ilya Karpenko (Russia)
Best Spirit Award:
Goderzi Kapanadze (Russia)
Best Technique Award: Yuta Sawamura (Japan)
Best Tameshiwari Award:
Zahari Damyanov (Bulgaria / 24 Boards)
Young Lion Award:
Tariel Nikoleishvili (Russia)

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