STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN -- Jon Weiss of Scotch Plains was a silver medalist at the Kimura Shukokai International (KSI) World Tournament held in Stockholm,Sweden, July 18-21.
The tournament featured over 600 participants from 15 different countries, including the 54-member team from Team USA, competing in events featuring "kata" and "kumite." ​​​​Kata is an exercise consisting of a demonstrated pattern of 30-100 martial arts movements prescribed for defending against several attackers. Kumite is a form of combat utilizing controlled striking and throwing techniques of karate without causing injury to the opponent. 

Seventeen of Team USA's 54 members came from Bressaw's Middlesex Karate, a school based in North Edison and Fords. The group accounted for eleven of the total of 19 gold, silver and bronze medals won by Team USA.

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Weiss was defeated by fellow New Jerseyan Christian Madama in the Men's 50+ Lightweight Kumite/Fighting event in an all-USA final. Other silver medalists were Sensei Brett Fingerman (Men's 40+ Lightweight Kumite), Christina Ioannides (Ladies Kumite) and Nicole Bressaw (Women's Kata). Christina Ioannides, Nicole Bressaw, and Christine Hurley also earned Silver for Ladies Team Kumite. Bronze medals were awarded to Sensei Dave Szucs (Men's 40+ Kata), Nicole Bressaw (Women's Kumite) Carolyn Labat (Women's Under 21 Kumite), Pramil Patel (Cadet Lightweight Kumite), and Victor Vasquez (Cadet Heavyweight Kumite).

Senseis Brett Fingerman and Dave Szucs managed medals even as they coached and shepherded their student competitors from the Fords and Edison dojos. Jerald Wesley, another lead instructor, competed and coached, but did not medal in the competition. Nicole Bressaw was awarded the rank of Sensei/Fourth Degree Black Belt after arduous testing prior to the competition.

Shihan Bressaw, one of the four KSI Joint World Chief Instructors, and head of both American Shukokai Karate Union (ASKU) and the local dojos, was pleased with the tournament overall and Team USA's results.

"Preparing for and competing in the tournament raises the level of karate for our students whether they medal or not, and allows them to test how well they may perform their technique in a controlled pressure situation," Bressaw said. "I am very proud of our entire team."

In addition to the competition itself, our local competitors all highlight the friendships developed across the international community, and the high-level training provided by the Chief Instructors in the "Gasshuku," or training session, the day before the event. Several also took the opportunity to visit other European countries, including Norway, Austria, Spain and Copenhagen after the tourney. Now, however, all are back at the dojo training, with thoughts of South Africa for World Tournament 2020.