Submitted by Executive Director/Instructor Sempai Chris
The Central Alberta Martial Arts Centre (CAMA) held its 9th annual Open Martial Arts Tournament, Alberta Bushido Open, on Saturday, April 18 at the Fox Run School.
Over 300 competitors and spectators from all over the province attended the event to build martial arts friendships, exchange martial arts knowledge and demonstrate various martial arts skills ranging from Karate, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, Grappling, and Arnis (stick fighting). To commence the tournament, the students of Teck Guan Kung Fu of Calgary beautifully demonstrated a traditional Chinese Lion Dance.
The Alberta Bushido Open is quite a different tournament from others as it strives to celebrate the tradition of all martial arts while removing the pressure (and often politics) that usually come along with any sporting event/tournament. As a result, the atmosphere of this tournament was still challenging yet positive as it encouraged all competitors to simply do their best to represent their style, and to remove the pressure that often goes along with winning.
As a result, participants as young as 5 years-old, courageously stood up in front of many spectators and judges to exhibit their martial art knowledge, skill and most importantly, spirit! Because of this experience, many children and youth walked away from the tournament with a renowned sense of self-confidence and pride. It is this sense of self-empowerment that is one of the most important skills that we can teach a child so that they can make positive changes within themselves, within others, and within their community alike.
The CAMA, is a not-for-profit martial arts and personal development school serving Sylvan Lake and Rimbey for over 10 years. They host this traditional tournament in order to provide an arena of healthy competition. In addition, it helps replenish the not-for-profit school/centre and enable its volunteer instructors to continue their vision of teaching life skills through karate, and other self-development programs that promote self defense, confidence, compassion and personal growth to many children, youth and adults in central Alberta. This year’s tournament was especially important because a portion of its proceeds go directly to Project: World Help, an initiative by the Centre’s students and instructors to travel to Nepal in 2010 to teach Karate to disadvantaged children while helping to build local schools and communities in Nepal.
The Centre is very grateful to its students, parents and sponsors for making this year’s Alberta Bushido Open a great success.