Mr. Miyagi would be impressed.
Red Deer’s Nick Marchuk has burst on to the international martial arts scene in such away that the fictional mentor from the movie franchise The Karate Kid, wouldn’t be able to help but take notice.
The 13-year-old dominated the Martial Arts Games in Sydney, Australia — winning five gold and one bronze — and now has the World Karate Championships in Dublin, Ireland in his sights.
“It was great, I had a bunch of fun there and I’m really proud of my accomplishments,” said Marchuk. “I didn’t know how I would do down there, but I thought I would do good because I have always done well in most of the tournaments I have gone to.”
Marchuk took top spot in advanced traditional sword, traditional wooden weapons, musical weapons, 11-13 year-old sparring and team sparring where he teamed with Roland Lau out of Vancouver and another out of the U.S. to form Team North America. Marchuk also finished third in advanced kata.
His performance helped him earn a little extra recognition as he was awarded the Chris Canning Award of Excellence which recognizes an international martial artist for their excellence in martial arts, academics, and their personal attributes.
“It makes me feel real good,“ said the Grade 8 student at École Camille J. Lerouge School. “I’m proud of myself that people would recognize me like that, and I’m thankful to my parents for helping me to get this far.”
Not only did Marchuk kick a little butt at the competition, he also held his own seminar at a dojo in Sydney in between trips to the Sydney Opera house, the Harbour Bridge and out to the Blue Mountains.
“It was great to work with some of the kids that weren’t from my own club, and I was glad to do that with them,” said Marchuk. “I made a lot of friends in Australia.”
Although this was just his second international event, this kinds of results are not foreign to Marchuk. He earned two golds, a silver a bronze and was named overall grand champion in forms for his age group at an even in Ocean City, Md., in August.
In his spare time Marchuk also plays softball, soccer and competes in aquathon — like a triathlon, but just swimming and running.
Marchuk has been in martial arts for seven years and has been competing for the last six out of Cheney’s Karate Studios in Red Deer. He currently holds a brown belt in karate but will test for his black belt in November.
Until then he is getting ready for the world championships in Dublin, Nov. 1-5, where he will compete in traditional sword. He qualified for Team Canada last May in Ottawa.
“I don’t know how I will do, I never know until I actually win anything,” said Marchuk. “It’s usually my second best event. My best event is usually musical, but at the qualifications there were some kids who were really good at musical, so I only qualified in traditional sword.”
Regardless of how well Marchuk does in Dublin, this will likely be just his first of many trips to the world championships.
“I don’t really have an end goal,” said Marchuk. “I just plan to keep on going and see what happens.”