Ilonggo karatekas impress in prestigious international tournament

Congratulations, ITSMAI! (Gerald Tinagan)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Four Ilonggo karatekas recently made waves during the recently concluded 2023 Southeast Asia Karate Federation Championships last March 17, 2023, held in Manila, Philippines.

After beating the best of the best karatekas during the elimination tournament a couple of months ago, the Iloilo Tinagan School of Martial Arts Inc. (ITSMAI) crew composed of Jan Michael Lozada, Bryan Bert Bancolo, Leonilo Bañes, and Patricia Judilla finished with a medal and three qualifying spots.

The talented Ilonggo representatives were coached and supervised by veteran mentor and one of the pillars of ITSMAI, Mr. Gerald Tinagan.

“Iloilo Tinagan School of Martial Arts is a perfect environment for learning and developing life skills including respect, focus and determination confidence and responsibility,” said Mrs. Bancolo, one of the most supportive parents on the team.

Lozada, a 15-year-old rising star from Colegio Del Sagrado De Jesus, bested Singapore and Thailand to finish the international competition with a bronze medal.

The karateka is from Barangay Cabahug, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental and was also a medalist during the Karate Pilipinas National Championship last February, winning silver in the Kumite Cadets -52 kg category.

Rounding up ITSMAI’s participation in the SEA Karate Federation tournament are qualifying finishes from Bancolo, Bañes, and Judilla.

Despite failing to add a medal and backstop Lozada in the progressing rounds, these three karatekas still brought pride not only to ITSMAI and Western Visayas but also to the whole Philippines.

“Tinagan has helped Bryan to understand “DISCIPLINE” which has helped him in many different ways. The coaches have created a warm and welcoming environment and they teach the players/students in a very professional manner. In addition, they also ensure that students understand the mental aspects of training and emotional connection,” added Mrs. Bancolo.


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