The Team Canada martial arts team is off to Montego Bay, Jamaica early in the new year to show off its skills on the international stage. The group, which includes young Breslau athletes Hannah and Ethan Wright, recently held one last practice in Waterloo before making the trip south.
One of their trainers, Julian Shaumon of the Shaumon Generation of Martial Arts, expressed confidence that the young brother-sister duo would put in a strong showing at the world championships.
“I have absolutely no doubt they’re going to do well,” said Shaumon. “They are the best kids that you can imagine in that they’re coachable. That’s pretty much the number-one thing in martial arts: as long as you’re coachable, you can do pretty much anything.”
Dozens of attendees made an appearance at the final practice, which included a send-off from Kitchener Centre MPP Laura Mae Lindo.
“Congratulations on your exemplary skills and athleticism for making Team Canada,” said Lindo. “Your dedication to martial arts and representation of Canada at the international level of martial arts and representation of Canada at the international congress of martial arts is inspirational to our community. So congratulations on your achievement and I wish you the best to Team Canada.”
The duo has been training relentlessly to prepare for the upcoming challenge. Hannah previously trained for a minimum of six hours a week and travelled to New York in November to compete in the 2018 Karate Tournament of Champions (KTOC), and then competed in Toronto November 30 – December 1. Travelling for competitions is nothing new to the team.
Shaumon made note of the skill progression from the martial artists, particularly Hannah.
“Just to put it into perspective, Hannah when she started training with me personally, she didn’t have that natural ability,” said Shaumon. “But Hannah had the work ethic. As I said, she was coachable. She’s turned into one of the most sought-after and decorated martial artists in Ontario. It just shows you that as long as you’re coachable and you have the work ethic, and you try, what you can do. She went from zero to 100 very, very fast. She did it, and she hasn’t turned back since.”
The team will compete in Jamaica January 5-6.