Date: May 21, 2022
Place: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Organizer: Canada Branch (Branch Chief Luciano Paparella)
After two long years, Quebec, Canada has finally ended the mask wearing mandate on May 13, 2022. As a result, gyms and sport centers, including dojos are filling up at pre-pandemic levels. We can currently host major activities requiring close contact such as competitions, seminars and black belt exams.
The Canadian branch – Luciano Paparella held a black belt exam in Montreal on May 21, 2022. Luciano Paparella, 5th dan and Marisa Leone, 3rd dan who organized this event have the honor to announce the results of this black belt exam where seven courageous karatekas faced a very demanding exam, testing their technical skills, their physical and mental fortitude, and their fighting spirit.
The first part of the exam was held in a private setting where the candidates were tested on their technical skills which included kihons, ido-geikos, and katas. For those who passed this part, the second part (kumite) was open to other dojos to participate.
Congratulations to our new shodans (1st degree black belt); Lien, Malek, Julia and Ilcorian, as well as our new nidans (2nd degree black belt), Gianni and Paul, and finally Michael Perrone who changed his title to Sensei.
It was a long journey with exceptional circumstances for everyone to get to this point. There were many excuses in the last 2 years not to train, but everyone found the right reason to continue training. There is a saying we often hear that a black belt is a white belt that never quit. Thanks to the very supportive community that helped these seven karatekas get ready physically and mentally for this special day.
There were many moments during this exam where the karatekas reached their breaking point, but thanks to the supportive group of experienced fighters and the watchful eye of Shihan Kalaidopoulos, they overcame this point and moved forward.
A new journey for these 7 karatekas has begun. They now have the responsibility and honor to guide the next generation.
We are looking forward to participate in many more activities already planned this year as we regain momentum in our community.
WKO Branch Chief, Canada