Laramie res­i­dent and UW employ­ee places in Swiss Karate Tour­na­ment

Pho­to Cour­tesy Ben Froide­vaux

UW Mar­tial Artist Medals at Swiss Inter­na­tion­al Karate Tour­na­ment (Oct. 29, 2011)

Uni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming Karate Club instruc­tor and Out­reach Tech­nol­o­gy Ser­vices tech­ni­cian Ben Froide­vaux won sil­ver and bronze medals at the recent 2011 Basel Open Karate Mas­ters Inter­na­tion­al Karate Tour­na­ment held on Octo­ber 29–30 in Basel, Switzer­land.

Cur­rent­ly train­ing with the Swiss Nation­al karate team, Froide­vaux (a fifth-degree black belt) rep­re­sent­ed Switzer­land in the Veteran’s Cat­e­gorie (ages 40+) in both Kata (forms) and Kumite (spar­ring). Froide­vaux was award­ed a sil­ver medal (sec­ond place) for Kata and a bronze medal (third place) for Kumite.  He was among over 660 com­peti­tors from 21 dif­fer­ent nations par­tic­i­pat­ing at the tour­na­ment.

Mar­tial arts sport­ing events here in Europe are amaz­ing!  The inter­na­tion­al tour­na­ments bring togeth­er a diver­si­ty of ath­letes from var­i­ous coun­tries, cul­tures and reli­gions, and the large num­ber of com­peti­tors con­stant­ly helps raise the high lev­el of dif­fi­cul­ty, allow­ing for a con­stant evo­lu­tion and improve­ment of ath­let­ic per­for­mance with­in the mar­tial arts.  Such tour­na­ments also pro­vide oppor­tu­ni­ties for ath­letes from devel­op­ing coun­tries to per­form in an inter­na­tion­al are­na, and there­by receive recog­ni­tion (and often mon­e­tary com­pen­sa­tion) to help them in their ath­let­ic careers.  The fans are equal­ly com­pet­i­tive in their spir­it­ed sup­port for their respec­tive country’s ath­letes, with shouts of approval (or dis­ap­proval) often being heard in 15–20 dif­fer­ent lan­guages, and there’s a great enthu­si­as­tic atmos­phere of friend­ly rival­ry and inter­na­tion­al cama­raderie.”

A UW karate instruc­tor from 2005–2010, Froide­vaux now works as a sports instruc­tor and stunt­man in Switzer­land, reg­u­lar­ly com­pet­ing in karate and fenc­ing tour­na­ments.  He also teach­es tra­di­tion­al mar­tial arts that focus on self-improve­ment, phys­i­cal con­di­tion­ing and char­ac­ter devel­op­ment.

Although com­pe­ti­tion is not a focus in tra­di­tion­al mar­tial arts, tour­na­ment par­tic­i­pa­tion is a fun option avail­able to stu­dents,” he says.  “As most tra­di­tion­al mar­tial artists no longer need to use their fight­ing skills on a bat­tle­field (as in ancient times), con­tem­po­rary mar­tial arts tour­na­ments can pro­vide a great oppor­tu­ni­ty
to test one’s phys­i­cal abil­i­ties and men­tal focus along­side peer com­peti­tors while putting into appli­ca­tion mar­tial the­o­ry, strat­e­gy and phi­los­o­phy all in a safe, con­trolled envi­ron­ment with spec­i­fied rules as enforced by a pan­el of qual­i­fied ref­er­ees and judges. Tour­na­ment com­pe­ti­tion is also a great way to help devel­op tra­di­tion­al virtues such as spir­it, dis­ci­pline, self-con­fi­dence, respect and cama­raderie.”

Pho­to Cour­tesy Ben Froide­vaux