Dear Parents and Families,
I am very excited to share with you that we’ve officially begun our preparation for the 3rd United Uechi Open Karate Tournament being held on March 18th at Gordon College. This will be our dojo’s third year co-hosting the event and we are thrilled to be able to once again provide our students with a rare opportunity to participate in such a high quality event. We’ll be working hard over the next eight weeks preparing for the tournament and look forward to seeing the progress and growth that accompanies our efforts as all the students begin their preparations.
This tournament is open to all children in the Karate Kids program as well as all adult students. I sincerely hope that you will encourage your child to participate or participate yourself in the tournament so that all our students can fully benefit from the process of preparing to participate in such an event. We will be looking for parent volunteers as well to help fill some supporting roles the day of. If you haven’t picked-up a tournament registration form at the dojo, I’ve attached one to this email for your convenience. Please let me know if you have any questions or need any assistance in filling it out. We’ll be spending a lot of time over the next eight weeks educating students about how the tournament will be run and how to best prepare for their kata performance.
If you have any questions about what the tournament entails and how both you and your children can get involved, please feel free to contact me. Below I’ve also included a list of FAQ’s which I think will answer many of your questions. We’re really looking forward to making this a fun and exciting event for everyone involved! Thank you in advance for your support and assistance.
Sensei Chip Quimby
United Uechi Open
FAQ – Children’s Divisions
- What is United Uechi Open Tournament exactly?
The United Uechi Open is an opportunity for three different dojo’s in the area to come together and offer students a venue to test their skills, build confidence and meet new karate friends.
- What are the other two schools like?
North Shore Karate Academy and Atlantic Karate Training Center are dojos very similar to our own in that they too practice Uechi-Ryu karate and have high standards. Both dojos have been established for many years and are lead by highly competent professional instructors.
- When is the registration deadline?
- Is there parking?
Yes, plenty of parking at Gordon College.
- When and where is it?
The tournament will be held March 18th at the Gordon College Bennett Athletic Center, located at 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham, MA 01984. The tournament will start at 10:00 am with kata divisions.
- How can my child get involved?
Children may be eligible to participate in Individual kata and or Team Kata. In the individual kata division students will demonstrate their rank-specific kata. Beginners (white, yellow, orange belts) will perform Sanchin, Intermediate and Advanced students (blue, purple, green, red and advanced red belts) will have the option of performing the kata of their choice.
- How are the divisions separated?
Divisions are broken down into age groups as well as by varying degrees of experience based on time spent training. This ensures that students have the opportunity to compete against other children of similar skill and age.
- How many children will be in each division?
Our goal is to have enough participants for each age bracket to be well represented. Ideally, all divisions will have a minimum of four participants and no more than 20. Divisions with four or less members will be merged with another division to ensure everyone has a fair opportunity to compete; likewise divisions with more than 20 members will be split into two smaller, more specialized divisions.
- How is individual kata judged?
Kata demonstrations will be assessed and scored by highly trained judges who will evaluate children on four key performance elements: knowledge, focus, balance and spirit.
- Is the tournament safe?
Yes, safety and fairness are the focus for any well run karate tournament. The referee’s will ensure that all participants follow the rules and that participants conduct themselves is a safe and responsible manner.
- How can I get involved?
All families are encouraged to come and support those students who are participating, even if their child has opted not to compete. Showing support by attending the tournaments is a great way to help build and foster solidarity and spirit at the school, and is something that’s always very appreciated. If you’re interested in volunteering to assist the day of the tournament we’d be happy to find you a suitable role, such as score caller, score keeper or competitor chaperone.
- Does my kid need extra practice to compete?
Similar to preparing for a belt exam, students are encouraged to practice beforehand to ensure the most rewarding experience possible. We will be practicing in class however we will also be working on the curriculum as always. If students feel they need more practice they are welcome to speak to Sensei about training opportunities and goals.
- What additional resources are available?
Videos have been made of each kata and are available on our website and YouTube for students to use during their preparation for the tournament. Preparation is the truly the key to success and the children are being encouraged to practice outside the dojo.
- Will everyone be recognized and awarded for participating?
Medals will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. It’s my firm belief however that the true benefit of competing lies in the process by which a students go through in order to prepare themselves.
- How early before an event should I come?
Doors open at 9:00 am with check-in from 9:00 – 9:45 am. Students attending the tournament should be ready for the opening ceremony, which will begin at 10:00 AMpromptly, with kata divisions starting immediately after that. Younger students will compete first, promptly at 10:00 am.
- How will you, Sensei, be involved?
Each of the dojo owners will be there and supporting the event and refereeing advanced levels.
- Are cameras allowed?
By all means, of course! Similar to belt exams, we welcome you to take as many photos as you’d like as long as it does not interfere with your child’s performance.