Local competitors showed winning spirit at the Axé Capoeira BC Winter Games, a provincial competition for the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira, held Dec. 18 in Vancouver.
The local group entered 15 competitors between the ages of five and 40 years of age and brought home four medals and two wins.
Pan Race, 5, placed second and Jack Blake placed first in the kids’ beginner category. Dylan Stevenson, who had won the competition here in Comox in 2013 and 2014 and was the one to beat, placed third in the kids’ advanced category against stiff competition.
The main event held the biggest and best surprise of the day with the win going to Angela Race of Courtenay. Angela entered the first round with a loss due to a clean leg sweep which knocked her to the floor, but her warrior spirit kicked in and her fire was turned up.
She played against five different competitors and after several tie breakers managed to make a victorious comeback with a clean sweep to her opponent, knocking him to the ground.
“One of the most exciting things about these Capoeira competitions is watching how the competitors overcome adversity and witnessing the many surprises and unexpected victories,” said Axé Capoeira Comox Valley Graduada Alicia Fennell.
“Watching a small-statured woman such as Angela up against a man two weight categories above her take the win is an incredible sight. For those of us who have the pleasure to know Angela personally, we know that she is a dedicated capoeirista with a warrior spirit,” Fennell added.
Locally, Axé Capoeira operates out of their small studio on 5th Street in Courtenay, giving classes for all ages and all skill levels in the Brazilian martial art.
“Congratulations to all of our local martial artists who participated and were so incredibly brave to not only make the journey in the snow to compete but to put themselves in that ring to go head-to-head in battle,” Fennell said.
“The experience is invaluable for a martial artist and all participants deserve credit for their courage and hard training,” she added.
Also competing at the event were Jonny Schut, Ian Parkinson, Amanda Torry, Oliver Blake, Eloy Diaz Fennell, Kamari Cuyler and Kade Cuyler.