July 23, 2024

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Tallack Martial Arts hosts 29th annual Winter Training Festival – Kingston

Tallack Martial Arts hosts 29th annual Winter Training Festival – Kingston

The Winter Training Festival is one of Ontario’s premiere karate events.

Ken Tallack runs Tallack Martial Arts in Kingston, which hosts the event.

He said his intention in the beginning was to have a tournament so local kids wouldn’t have to travel elsewhere. Now, participants from outside the city are coming to him.

He said to date, more than 500 competitors – some from as far away as Victoria – have journeyed to join the Festival.

“Bringing everything together in one location like this enables us to cross generational boundaries,” said Tallack.

He said most participants come from Ontario and Quebec; this year there are at least 100 from Kingston alone.

The weekend event features lots of competition.

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Students are judged and instructed on their Kata forms, participate in sparring and everyone has the chance to learn all varieties of karate from the 50 masters in attendance – all for a $30 entry fee.

Twin sisters Tiffanie and Tia Bankosky know the full value of the event. Both began at Tallack Martial Arts when they were just four years old; both are now teaching karate themselves.

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“It’s really, really important to be able to come to an event where it’s a friendly competition so you can really build those skills, and build so much confidence,” said Tiffanie.

The sisters have gone on to instruct at the Queen’s Karate Club, all because of the passion and skills they developed at events like this.

“Tiffanie and I learned the importance of community and of giving back to our local Kingston community,” Tia said.

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High above street level at a local hotel some of Canada’s finest karate practitioners and students were hard at work, perfecting their craft in sparring.

Tallack said this year’s event achieved a new benchmark. It’s so popular, he said, that next year he’ll be splitting the competition and teaching events: the tournament will be held in February and a second event in June will focus on lessons and workshops with the masters.

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