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Karate Kenpo: A Young Qubesser in the World Championship

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At just 12 years old, Québéser Hugo Bourguignon began preparations to travel to Killarney, Ireland to compete in the World Karate and Kickboxing Commission (WKC) World Championships, which will bring together top karatekas of all ages. Worldwide, October 8 to 13.

One who just started his high school career qualified for this international competition, Kenpo-style, in the 11-12-year-old division by finishing third at the Canadian championships in Ottawa on May 19.

“I don’t really understand the moment,” admitted the main interested party, joining the end of the line.

But now that he is less than a month away from crossing the Atlantic to train for his sport, he realizes the scale of his success “a little bit more than before”.

To achieve his goals, the karate, who turns 13 a week before the competition in Ireland, has redoubled his efforts in recent years. Despite the pandemic, he continued to take his classes even though he had to virtually do so.

“We feel very proud. “It’s a reward to let him go there because he’s been training for so many hours,” his mother Natalie was delighted.

“He’s a young man with a big heart, he doesn’t bother, he does his business. At the karate level, he’s a very good karateka,” added Yvan Allard, owner of the Studios Unis de l’Anciennes-Lorette, where Hugo Bourguignon trains, who said his protégé had made great progress in the past year. agree

Not like in the movie

Despite being so young, Hugo was looking for an activity to train. Like many young Quebecers, he didn’t turn to a popular sport like hockey or soccer. One visit was enough to fall in love with karate.

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The teenage style of Kenpo is not just a story of fights. This is the “rule of the fist” where the karateka is judged on his kata, a single codified series of movements simulating a fight. After all, one shouldn’t trust oneself with a movie like the wildly popular “Karate Kid.”

“If you can do it like in the movies, it won’t be what you expected,” warned Hugo Bourguignon.

“When the world talks about karate and martial arts, it often talks about grappling and contact, but what I do is perform kata. Let’s link it to a dance, which is a series of movements that form a block.

Moreover, karate is not just a sport, according to Euan Allard. In young children, the most turbulent, it helps develop a certain discipline that will help them outside of karate schools.

“We can’t always work miracles, but as they grow up, young people get into a routine with the instructions and rules we have in schools. [de karaté], referring to someone who also serves as the director-manager of his studio’s competition team. At the same time, young people have fun and learn to defend themselves.

Looking for all the help I can get

One season of karate alone can cost a karateka’s parents thousands of dollars, not to mention all the sacrifices of time and travel. A trip to Ireland for the World Championships inevitably incurs extra costs, so Hugo Bourguignon’s parents are appealing for crowdfunding using a GoFundMe page.

“Before Covid, there were fundraising activities. There was also a chocolate sale. There were also so-called “kicks”. They had to raise money for “kicks” but nothing since. There, it’s the first year it goes back to normal,” Hugo Bourguignon’s mother explained.

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However, the teenager does not rely solely on people’s monetary donations. They went door to door in the neighborhood to collect cans from neighbors. Dad made a small pamphlet to better present his project to people.

“The people, when they communicated with him, were glad to know: “We know what it is for. We see who’s doing it”. He went and tried to put it on, so he’s grateful.

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