This years Shiryodo Karate annual tournament Male champion is Connor Lourey. The title grand champion goes to him for accumulating more points across the divisions he competed in than all the other males. Senpai Connor actually started at Shiryodo Karate in the dragons classes 11 years ago, now a senior 2nd Dan black belt and instructor he is often in charge of dragons classes. It’s great for the children that Senpai Connor often teaches to be able to see him compete, some of them may be inspired to follow in his footsteps.
INTERVIEW WITH CONNOR:
What did you like best about the tournament? I enjoyed competing against others and improving the skills I have developed over my time at karate. It was great to see everyone having a go and how far they have developed. As I have been an instructor to many of the competitors it was great to see them having fun and their improvement.
What practice did you do before the tournament? I practiced my point sparring by going to Tuesday night trainings and learning new strategies. I also went to Wednesday kata class and practiced my kata, trying to improve in readiness for the tournament.
If your going to the next tournament, what will you work towards? I would work on my sparring by trying to be faster and more precise, this also would make it easier on the judges.
Why did you decide to go in the tournament? I went in the tournament to have some fun and develop my skills in an environment that was out of my comfort zone. I also wanted to try and help judge some events as I know it can get quite hectic for those not competing.
What do you like best about karate? I like learning and developing new skills. The discipline and dedication to karate makes me proud that I have been able to become a senior Nidan by the age of 15. I also like teaching others and to watch them grow and develop as a marital artist.
Have you done the tournament before, if you have how did you go? I have participated in the tournament many times before, I can’t remember how many. I have won the jumping side snap kick three years in a row and in 2016 I was honoured to be the junior male champion.
What are your goals for the future in martial arts? My goals are to develop as an instructor. I also have set a goal to be a Sensei by 2020, I believe that this would be a great honour. I have been developing my karate skills for 11 years.