Local Poway Karate Dojo Brings Home Tournament Wins
Martial Arts Medalists
Poway competitors ranging in age from 6 to 55 and older recently traveled to Las Vegas, NV for several karate tournaments. The U.S. Open and Junior International Cup tournaments are hosted by the USA National Karate-do Federation and are the largest international karate tournaments in the country. Over 2,000 competitors represented more than 42 countries at this year’s events. Competitors from Poway-based Ryukyu Japan Karate-Do also participated in the Ozawa Cup that weekend, and they brought home 27 medals from the three tournaments combined.
Poway resident Gakuji Tozaki led the team and is a member of the U.S. Senior National Karate Team. The Poway team also includes members of the U.S. Junior National Team, including Taishi Tozaki, Rey Simon, and John-Michael Rivera.
Taishi Tozaki, 19, won gold, silver, and bronze medals. Natalie Goodwin, six, won three gold and one silver medal. Sandra Beutler won two golds and one silver. Flay Goodwin, eight, Harry Koseki, 12, and Rey Simon, 17, each won one gold and one silver. Thirteen-year-old John-Michael Rivera won two gold medals. Aya Nadalin, 14, and Yuta Takenaka, 12, won silver medals. Yuto Dean, Gakuji Tozaki, Brittany Mosier, and 15-year-old Christopher Lee took home bronzes.
“At first I was nervous because all the kids looked so strong, but the dojo sempais gave me the power to win and I won first place!” shared Flay Goodwin, a second grader at Creekside Elementary School and first-time competitor.
The team is now training for the AAU National Karate Championships, scheduled for late June in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and the USA-NKF National Karate Championships in Reno, NV this July.