Seven members of Vilcu's Karate Klub were part of Team Canada's entry at the recent World Marital Arts Games in Bregenz, Austria.
The athletes captured a total of 13 medals, with one gold, 11 silver and one bronze.
Billy Vilcu won gold in the Japanese Okinawa wooden weapons forms division for newcomers under the age of 14 with a yellow or a blue belt. And he took silver in Japanese Okinawa hand forms.
Michelle Hogg won silver in three events: non-traditional hand forms in the over-18 black belt division; female point fighting in the over-18 black belt 65-plus kilogram class; and female kickboxing in the over-18 black belt 65-plus kilograms category.
Dena Bachorcik won silver in female kickboxing in the over-18 black belt under-65 kilograms division, and in the female point fighting in the over-18 black belt under-65 class. She also took the bronze in non-traditional hand forms for over-18 black belts.
Andrei Stefan also won two silver medals: one in Japanese Okinawa hand forms for under-18 yellow or brown belt newcomers; and the other in male kickboxing for under-18 yellow or brown belts in the 55-kilogram weight class.
Theresa Teeple won silver in Japanese Okinawa hand forms for over-18 newcomers with a yellow or a blue belt, and silver in female kickboxing for over-18 yellow or brown belts who weigh less than 65 kilograms.
George Kingdon was fourth in Japanese Okinawa hand forms for over-35 competitors with a black belt, and in male point fighting for over-35 competitors with a black belt.
Also, the Canadian entry in women's team sparring, made up entirely of members of Vilcu's, placed second behind the host Austrians. Bachorcik, Hogg and Teeple were on the team; they were coached by Kingdon.
Vilcu's grand master Harold Vilcu was an assistant coach for Team Canada.
According to Bachorcik, Harold Vilcu had additional criteria for Team Canada members beyond just qualifying and training for the global competition.
“It was required that they train hard to be winners but with kind hearts, (and) to have respect for the art and for their opponents,” said Bachorcik. “They must be proud of our country and display sportsmanship as ambassadors of Canada.
“The team trained hard through the summer to understand their weaknesses as well as their strengths, and to prepare mentally and physically for the games.”
The World Martial Arts Games was an unforgettable and valuable experience that the members of Vilcu’s Karate Klub will draw on for years to come, Bachorcik said, not only for their own competitions, but as an aid in teaching their students.