Salve Regina’s Shotokan Karate Club wins national titles
Four members of Salve Regina’s Shotokan Karate Club claimed national titles in leading the team to 10 overall podium finishes during competition at the 2016 ISKF/U.S. National Championships and National Collegiate Tournament held Nov. 12-13 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
Marissa Johnson ’20 brought home a national championship in the collegiate women’s division for kata (forms), while Cameron Mas ’18, Gabrielle Grilo ’18 and Sarah Valenti ’17 won the advanced women’s collegiate team kumite (fighting) title.
In other individual events in the women’s division, Johnson placed third in collegiate kumite; Valenti finished second in adult women’s kumite and third in advanced collegiate kumite; Michelle Gregoire ’17 finished second in adult women’s kata; Grilo placed third in adult women’s kumite and third in advanced women’s kata; and Mas finished third in adult women’s kumite.
Also in team competition, Mas, Grilo and Gregoire placed third in collegiate kata.
Karate is a registered club sport at Salve Regina, affiliated to the International Shotokan Karate Federation under Master Teruyuki Okazaki, who has visited campus to teach a master class for students. Under the advisement of Dr. JD Swanson, a licensed instructor, examiner and judge who is associate professor and chairman of biology and biomedical sciences, the team practices weekly in dance studio space and travels year-round throughout the Northeast participating in the East Coast Collegiate Karate Union.
The club is open to students without any karate experience. Swanson teaches movement and meditation as a University Seminar for freshmen, emphasizing the philosophy, biomechanics and history of martial arts.
Shotokan (the way of the empty hand) is one of the four major styles of karate practiced in Japan today and one of the most widely practiced styles of martial arts in the world.