It’s been a golden year for Mike Barrajon.
The Vernon North Okanagan Shotokan Karate member added to gold medals he won at the Spring Kelowna Cup and the provincial championships by taking top spot in the men’s open kumite in the green/blue/purple belt division at the Kelowna Cup Karate Tournament.
Barrajon has been known for his strong performance level in competition and was then invited to compete in the brown/black belt division.
He managed to win his next two matches and make it into the finals for the gold medal, and final match of the tournament, where he was nudged out by a mere half-point. The crowd was cheering and nobody wanted the exciting match to end.
Coming in second place with a silver medal is a huge victory for Barrajon at this level.
“I love the challenge and performing at the best of my abilities and this fit very well for me,” said Barrajon. “I have been giving 100 per cent every time with summer training in Chilliwack, not only from the previous world champion, sensei Don Sharp, but from guest senseis from Japan.”
Barrajon also gives credit to his sensei, Ted Roffel, who also doubles as a national anthem singer, which he did at the Kelowna Cup, and the students who help him train for such events.
“I had been sparring four-to-five opponents every training session, one after another, which really helped me build my stamina, strength and gameplay techniques,” he said.
“After the tournament, the Kelowna competitors came up to me and let me know they had all come together in coming to form some sort of strategy to score on me.
“Everyone is great. We are like a big family as we see each other at these events frequently. We all strive for perfection and I really love that.”
Barrajon said the training he and others receive from Roffel is “second to none and is what makes us great at this level.”
“It definitely makes our Shotokan Karate Club stand out, highlighting local Vernon talent and high-calibre instruction proudly throughout the province,” he said.