Martial arts club brings home the medals

All Cranbrook fighters finish on the podium in successful Fernie tournament.

The Rocky Mountain Academy of Martial Arts team poses for a picture in their home gym following their recent successful tournament in Fernie.

Nine fighters from Rocky Mountain Academy of Martial Arts tested their mettle  during a tournament in Fernie last week that brought out fighters of all ages and all skill levels to try their hand at continuous sparring and points fighting.

Fernie Martial Arts hosted the event and while small, it was action packed and full of drama, with every member of the Cranbrook team walking away with a medal.

“It wasn’t really any special coaching that made the team do so well—it was just focusing on good basics and lots of fitness that helped them out,” said RMAMA coach Joel Huncar. “Having hard working students with positive attitudes makes my job easy.”

Local fighter Tyson Hircher beat out his RMAMA teammate Dave Buckley for first place, as the two had a heated battle in the final match for the gold medal. Hircher, 16, had been riding a high from another gold place finish at the Mike Miles continuous tournament in Calgary a month ago.

He ended up competing in the adult category with Buckley, as the two had no other teens big enough to compete against. Despite being teammates, their bout was a spirited affair, and the ref had to step in and warn them about too much contact, but the two friends kept it clean as they battled for gold.

Buckley’s second place finish mirrored the same result he got a month ago at the same tournament as his teammate a month ago in Calgary.

Logan Robertson, another Cranbrookian, had a golden finish in his first-ever tournament where he competed in continuous and points sparring, even though the RMAMA doesn’t train in point sparring.

The younger children had a great time and medaled as well. Grace Payne earned a first place in point sparring and continuous fighting. Tom Sutton came third in point sparring and first in continuous, while Dante Young—the youngest member of the team—came second in both categories.

The ladies also had a great showing, considering the three Cranbrook athletes that competed had only been training for less than three months.

Karla Clark was third in points sparring and second in continuous sparring, while her twin sister, Krista, came second in points sparring, followed by Samantha Payne, who finished third in continuous sparring.