WKO Guam Competitors!Competition . News
Danny Banez, a black belt sensei at Kyokushinkai Karate Watanabe Dojo, and Jerry Diaz, a blue belt personal trainer, are set to compete in the senior men’s open weight division for ages 40 and above in the World Karate Organization Kyokushinkai Full Contact Karate Championship in Guam on April 29.
Originating in Japan and developed by Mas Oyama, Kyokushin is a stand-up fighting style of karate that emphasizes self-improvement, discipline, and rigorous training.
In addition to Banez and Diaz, around seven students from Banez’s Watanabe Dojo, will participate in the competition, followed by a Skills Training Review/Seminar on April 30.
Diaz has been training under Banez’s guidance since September and initially found the experience brutal and grueling. However, he was honored to receive the blue belt, allowing him to advance to more intermediate karate skills, including controlled sparring, counter strikes, and complex kata movements.
Diaz’s stated his biggest inspiration is his family. Training with his wife and daughters in self-defense so they can protect themselves and learn to respond appropriately to any crisis without over or under reacting. Diaz said karate and other martial arts must be approached with patience and seriousness. “An individual can easily get injured or harm others without proper guidance from a master,” he added.
Regarding his feelings about the upcoming competition, Diaz shared that he feels both nervous and excited. He has experience coaching and training with Kelvin “The Big Hit” Fitial in preparing for competitions in Saipan, Guam, and Australia. Diaz believes that his participation in this competition will benefit him in the future as he shares his experiences with the youth, community, and his fitness clients interested in learning karate.
Banez, a 67-year-old seventh dan black belt with nearly 50 years of karate experience, will be participating in his first international competition since the 1970s in the Philippines. Despite being older than many of his competitors, Banez remains confident and spirited, aiming for a podium finish.
Banez is passionate about karate and hopes that his students, including Diaz, will continue their training and carry on his legacy. The two have a mutually beneficial relationship, with Banez teaching Diaz karate techniques and Diaz providing strength and conditioning training.
As a black belt sensei, Banez emphasizes the importance of understanding and explaining the reasoning behind karate techniques, helping students to internalize and master the discipline. He believes that the philosophy of Shinkyokushinkai, which involves continuous training and learning, is a way of life that encourages practitioners to seek out new techniques and approaches.
Congrats on the great accomplishments
& Good Luck at the Competition!!!
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