NANAIMO — One of Vancouver Island's only spring karate tournaments goes this weekend in Victoria.
The seventh annual Victoria Cup will take place at the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence and will feature a contingent of about 30 athletes from Nanaimo's Shima Karate Dojo.
Sensei Kurt Nordli said he's been sending students from the karate club for the past five years.
As far as he knows Shima is the only dojo in Nanaimo with members attending the event.
"This year they're expecting 150 to 200 competitors, in past years it's been 100-125. There's a six and seven-year-old division all the way up to adult divisions," Nordli said.
Some dojos are more recreational but with many members working towards provincial karate events Shima offers a more competitive environment.
Nordli says last year he had a group of 16 head to the Victoria Cup that represented a medal count of more than 20 for the dojo.
There's also the Karate-do Goju-Kai Global Championship event coming up at the end of September in Richmond.
Some of Nordli's students are training two to three times a week to prepare for that competition as well.
He's the tournament director for Karate BC and Karate Canada and said because our country is hosting there are an unlimited number of entries.
The Shima dojo has been around for 29 years and produced a total of 62 black belts.
Nordli said they've now grown to the point where there is a waiting list for students but that should change now that the dojo has moved to a new location.
"We purchased the old library on Barons Rd.," he said. "We took it over on April 1 and it's twice the size of our old dojo. Right now we're between 250 to 300 students, we expect to level out between 400 and 500."
This summer, 12 more Shima athletes are going for black belts.
In 2016, a group of 14 to 16-year-old students went for a black belt and all 16 of Nordli's students were successful.
On twitter: @danmarshall77
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