On any given Wednesday and Friday night, at the Oyster Bay Community Center, you can be sure to find the OB-EN PAL Karate program hard at work preparing for an upcoming tournament in July. The Karate program, taught by Sifu Andrew along with the help of Sifu's Chris, Marissa, and Sara, is training hard for the upcoming junior challenge in Smithtown in July.
The students, ages 4 to 18, will enter in a variety of divisions at the tournament. These divisions include point sparring, forms, and self-defense. In point sparring two fighters, wearing protective padding, fight each other for points. Each punch and kick they land in the legal target areas earn one and two points respectively. Along the same lines is the self-defense division where one person performs a prearranged combination against a known attack thrown by a fellow student. Forms, also known as Kata, is our final event in the competition. Kata consist of a long series of prearranged moves to defeat single or even multiple attackers. Kata also teaches the student how to deal with an attack in a variety of different ways.
To prepare for the upcoming tournament, Sifu Andrews' students are training vigorously. Each night they perform many repetitions of their Kata, self-defense techniques, and sparring matches.
The upcoming tournament is a great learning experience for the students of the Karate program. The interaction with other schools and students greatly helps them to develop such important qualities as sportsmanship, self-discipline, and respect. The program will also be hosting its own tournament toward the end of this year.