Sparring success in national events is bringing Burnaby karate to the continental stage.
Placing first for kumite (sparring) in U-21 for the 84+ kg category at the national championship event on Jan. 30 at the Richmond Olympic Oval, Brendon Ly from Burnaby Karate Academy now qualifies for the junior division of the annual Pan American Karate Championships.
Recovers from loss
Ly had sparred against Eid Camil from Quebec three times out of five fights in the event, defeating Camil twice after the initial loss.
“I was taking more control of the match, more offensive,” said Ly.
He aims to improve the way he fights, in order to transition from not only succeeding in junior events but also qualifying for senior divisions.
“I was fighting more or less like a child,” said Ly, “I’m still working on making contact.”
Transitioning from junior
At 18, Ly led Team BC as captain for the first time at the national championship this year.
“I love the feeling after I compete — it’s indescribable,” Ly said. “It’s euphoria; you’re in your own world.”
Ly’s brother and sparring partner Matthew said Ly has always fought well, but now he has a better game plan.
“Before, he tries to do too much and overthinks things,” said Matthew. “Now he just sticks to his game plan, relaxes, and executes it.”
Ly will compete in the junior division at the 29th Pan American Karate Championships in Toronto on Mar. 19 to 21.