2018 AAU Albany Championship Report

Getting  to Albany in the middle of a snow storm was by itself a challenge. Weathering the blizzard slowed our trek but everyone made the 8 – 10 hour drive from Markham without injury.


This is our 3rd event to Albany and it is starting to see its young athletes grow into superstars. The March 3rd, 2018 event was more streamlined to cater to season or serious athletes. Team Meibukan had more competitors this year with 15 athletes including 3 adults. As this is our first international event of the year, our team was understandably nervous.


This year, our season includes more events that allow us to better prepare for qualifiers like Albany. The strategy paid off and our team returned with a total podium achievement. Results are as follows:

  1. Joanne Tran: Gold (Kata), Silver (Kobudo), Silver (Team Kata)
  2. Lara Kwaipun: Gold (Kata), Gold (Kobudo)
  3. Daniel Kwaipun: Gold (Kata), Silver (Kumite)
  4. Brenna Lin: Bronze (Kumite)
  5. Tyler Lin: Bronze (Kata)
  6. Kai Lin: Gold (Kobudo), Bronze (Kumite)
  7. Cassidy Truong: Gold (Kata), Gold (Kobudo), Silver (Team Kata)
  8. Cadence Truong: Gold (Kata), Gold (Kobudo), Gold (Kumite), Silver (Team Kata)
  9. Kayla Jackson: Gold (Kata), Gold (Kobudo), Gold (Kumite)
  10. Ryan Koo: Silver (Kata), Bronze (Kumite), Bronze (Team Kata)
  11. Koa Yamashita: Bronze (Kata)
  12. Kaz Yamashita: Gold (Kata)
  13. Stan Yamashita: Bronze (Kata)
  14. Erica Chin: Gold (Kata), Gold (Kobudo)
  15. Zachary Chin: Gold (Kata), Gold (Kobudo), Bronze (Team Kata)

We were blessed also with a guest from last year’s team who joined us for fun. Tiago Peisz also returned wearing a bronze.


A Winning Start


Team Meibukan began its 2018 season with a big bang. On February 17th, 14 athletes ventured to London, Ontario to partake in the Matsumura Cup among a field of almost 250 contestants from all over southern Ontario. Overcoming nerves, injuries, illnesses, traffic, equipment issues, we put on a superb showing with over 20 medals.


Ranging from under 7 years old to over 50 and wearing belts from white to black, our athletes performed with poise and dignity. The podium placement are as follows:

  1. Ryan Koo – Gold (Kata)
  2. Brenna Lin – Gold (Kata)
  3. Tyler Lin – Gold (Kobudo), Gold (Kata)
  4. Kai Lin – Bronze (Kumite), Bronze (Kata)
  5. Lara Kwaipun – Bronze (Kobudo), Gold (Team Kata)
  6. Daniel Kwaipun – Silver (Kata), Silver (Kumite)
  7. Cassidy Truong – Gold (Kobudo), Gold (Team Kata)
  8. Cadence Truong – Gold Kobudo, Gold (Team Kata)
  9. Erica Chin – Bronze (Kobudo)
  10. Zachary Chin – Gold (Kobudo), Silver (Kata)
  11. Kayla Jackson – Gold (Kobudo), Gold (Kata), Silver (Kumite)
  12. Kaz Yamashita – Silver (Kata)
  13. Koa Yamashita – Silver (Kata)
  14. Stan Yamashita – Silver (Kata)

Of course the team is never complete without the contribution of parents who put aside their time and effort to help ease the logistics of getting meals, marshaling athletes, and sharing their unconditional support.


Car Wash and BBQ Update

Thank you to Bean Around the World Cafe, Tina’s Bakery, Markham Bowl, and Home Hardware helping us out during our annual car wash and BBQ. With all the rain during the start of the summer, we were really concerned about a possible inclement weather report. Mother nature smiled on us however and it turned out to be a beautiful day. The parent committee, extremely busy with their own personal lives, successfully came together and arranged the event within 2 weeks.


The Lin family slow cooked their secret pulled pork recipe to perfection and offered for sale at the BBQ. What a hit! Vegetarian options were also available as well as the juicy hot dogs and burgers. The Co family made their cupcakes which went like gangbusters.

The Markham community came in droves and we were pleased to have all 3 bays filled for most of the time. Mike, the new manager of No Frills came by and bought a coffee and had his car washed also. Overall, the team was humbled by the support of the community.dsc8116.jpg

Our annual car wash marks the close of the competitive season with just a few weeks to rest up before we start training for the 2017/2018 year.  This past year, the team had 6 out of town competitions. New York City, Albany, Syracuse, Detroit, Raleigh, and Montreal. The funds will go towards help the athletes pay for travel and coaching expenses.  As the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo includes Karate, many of the athletes now have Olympic dreams. Next year, Okinawa, Japan is on the list of tournaments to attend as their introduction to worldly competition.

Once again, the team can’t thank everyone enough for helping out with their donations. See you next year.


Motoring in Detroit’s Jr. Olympics

A full team of 14 eligible athletes took a road trip to the Detroit suburbs of Novi, Michigan for the AAU Jr. Olympics on August 3rd, 2017. This was the very first JO event that our team went to and we had no idea what to expect. The event was smaller than nationals but the level of competition was quite good. The month between Nationals and JOs, time was spent improving on some sparring and weapons skills This paid off in the long run with close to 2 dozen podium finishes. Thanks to Ethan Co and Zachary Chin who competed and placed in 3 events to help increase our medal count. podium finishes are as follows.

  1. Ethan Co: Gold (Kobudo), Bronze (Kata), Bronze (Kumite) 3 count
  2. Zachary Chin: Gold (Kobudo), Gold (Kata), Bronze (Kumite) 3 count
  3. Tiago Peisz: Bronze (Kumite) 1 count
  4. Shaelynn Dyson: Bronze, (Kata), Silver (Kumite) 2 count
  5. Shivon Dyson: Bronze (Kumite) 1 count
  6. Nolan Chong: Bronze (Kata), Bronze (Kumite) 2 count
  7. Brenna Lin: Gold (Kata), Bronze (Kumite) 2 count
  8. Sydney Lublin: Gold (Kata), Gold (Kumite) 2 count
  9. Michaella Co: Gold (Kata), Gold (Kumite) 2 count
  10. Chandan Dhiman: Kata (Bronze)  1 count
  11. Michael Barrasso: Bronze (Kata), Silver (Kumite) 2 count
  12. Ryan Koo: Silver (Kata), Bronze (Kumite)  2 count
  13. Brandon Dela Cruz: Fourth (Kata), Fourth (Kumite)
  14. Tyler Lin: Fourth (Kobudo)

Total Medal Count: 23

We are please that our year finished of positively/ Next year the focus will be am Olympic style of competition.


2017 AAU Karate Nationals

Sixteen athletes from NOX Dojo ventured to Raleigh, NC for the AAU National Karate Championships to compete against over a thousand other athletes considered to be the best in the nation for AAU. The repeat of last year’s successes in terms of sheer number of medals eluded us this year yet the growth in skills surpassed all other years.

2017 aau nationals

Held over the July long weekend from June 29th to July 1st, 2017, our team stretched themselves beyond their previous limits. This year a number of our athletes moved up to the extremely challenging black belt division where they competed against veteran international athletes. In addition, we also added a weapons division to the team.  Even with these new challenges, our athletes devoted their heart and soul into the challenges of competition. Without fail, every athlete represented Markham and NOX Dojo with dignity and poise. Enough so that bystanders would comment on the class in which we demonstrated ourselves. Even with these new hurdle heights we returned with eleven podium finishes.

Sean Wong (Over 45 Black Belt): Bronze Kata, Bronze Kumite
Shivon Dyson (Black Belt): Bronze Kata
Ethan Co (Advanced Kyu): Gold Kata, Silver Kobudo, Bronze Kumite
Nolan Chong (Advanced Kyu): Gold Kumite
Tiago Peisz (Intermediate Kyu): Bronze Kumite
Sydney Lublin (Intermediate Kyu): Bronze Kata, Bronze Kumite
Michaella Co (Beginner Kyu): Bronze Kumite

The rest of our team just missed the podium by a few positions resulting in a top 5 or top 10 finish for all athletes. Our last event of the season is the Junior Olympics this August in Detroit, Michigan. What we learned from Nationals will be used to improve our standings. Please stay tuned for its update.