Karate team in Anchorage, Alaska to compete in national championships

Six athletes on Salve Regina’s karate team are traveling with their faculty advisor, Dr. JD Swanson, to compete in the 36th annual International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) National Championships Sept. 5-7 in Anchorage, Alaska.

The Salve contingent includes Madeline Berry, Gianna Gualtieri, Sean Flanagan, Michelle Gregoire, Sarah Valenti and Jessica Lovell. They will compete against athletes representing colleges and universities throughout the country, including Brown, Bucknell, Cornell, Drexel, Lycoming, Penn, Penn State, Temple, Thomas Jefferson, UMass-Amherst, Rochester, Virginia, West Chester and William & Mary.

Karate at Salve Regina is a registered club sport affiliated to the ISKF under Master Teruyuki Okazaki. Swanson, a class dean and associate professor of biology and biomedical sciences, is a licensed ISKF instructor, examiner and judge.

The team practices weekly in the dance studio in the Antone Academic Center and travels throughout the Northeast participating in the East Coast Collegiate Karate Union. In addition, Swanson has brought in guest teachers such as Master Teruyuki Okazaki, founder of the International Shotokan Karate Federation.

Shotokan Karate is one of the four major styles of Karate-do (the way of the empty hand), practiced in Japan today. It was brought from Okinawa to Japan in the 1920’s by Funakoshi Gichin and was subsequently popularized and taught across the world by instructors of the Japanese Karate Association (JKA) during the 1950’s and ‘60’s. Shotokan Karate is currently one of the most widely practiced styles of Martial Arts in the world, with clubs in virtually every country on the planet.