The 40th International Shotokan Karate Federation Tournament


SIOUX FALLS, SD-  The 40th International Shotokan Karate Tournament invites all levels and ages of karate to compete.  People travel from across the United States and parts of Puerto Rico for the yearly tournament, which only comes to Sioux Falls every 8 years.

“Each region or area has regional tournaments, and the winners of those come to this. The winners of this tournament have a chance to go to London for the Shoto-Cup, the World Competition,” says Instructor Jeff Trammell.

From White Belts to Black Belts, 160 people competed.  Athletes range in age from 10 to 69 years old.  Organizers of the tournament say this is not only great exposure for the athletes but for Sioux Falls as well.

Trammell says, “It offers something for people to do. For kids to teach them discipline, character, integrity, and all the certain structures practice the same thing. It’s all around good for the community.”

There are some local competitors in this tournament, like Kelly Wicker who is originally from Sioux Falls.

“My family is here. It’s from to come back and compete and to travel as far out as California for an event like this is a lot of fun,” says Fifth Degree Black Belt Kelly Wicker.

Some basic moves of karate in the tournament include Kata and Kumite.

“Kumite is (basically) there are 2 competitors, and your trying to score points with kicks and punches. You only have to score one point to win,” says Fourth Degree Black Belt Jihone Du.

No matter where the tournament is held, competitors are always full of adrenaline when they are competing.

Wicker says, “It’s a great opportunity for all age ranges, all belts to come and get a real experience of what it’s like to compete within this sport.”

The four winners of the tournament will represent the United States at the World Shoto-Cup Tournament in London, England in August of 2020.

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