2 karatedos win medals in Guam tourney


Kyokushinkai Karate’s Shem Japhet Batallones, second left, and Danielle Angela Banez, third left, are joined in the photo by tournament director Chris Biolcino, left, and referee Randy Angoco, right, after receiving their medals during the awards ceremony for the 10th Annual Carlos Palacios Memorial Karate Tournament in Guam last week. (Contributed Photo)

Kyokushinkai Karate’s Shem Japhet Batallones and Danielle Angela Banez brought home medals from the 10th Annual Carlos Palacios Memorial Karate Tournament held in Guam last week.

Batallones took second place honors in the Adults Men Division of the Nov. 21 competition, besting three other competitors, while Banez placed third in the Girls Advance Division, which had 10 entries. The Guam tournament was the first off-island competition for both karatedos and they are excited to return next year and have a better showing.

According to Batallones, for a rookie in the sport that he learned in June just this year, it was a nerve-wracking experience to compete in Guam. He, however, overcame his nerves by focusing on his training, which consisted of power, strength, speed, and endurance.

“I just thought about everything sensei Danny Banez told me and I just did what I knew and trusted in my training, that’s what I focused on. I just applied what I learned throughout my whole training and I just kept using that,” the 20-year-old said.

Banez, who holds a black belt for her years of training in the mixed martial art, said that she soldiered on after thinking of the support she received from her dojo and father, Danny.

“I did everything I could do. I struck my kicks and punches, and brought everything we received from our training,” she said.

When asked about their preparations for the competition, both Batallones and Banez explained that their month-long training was anything less than hectic.

Banez shared that since she and Batallones were working and attending school, most of their training had to be done at home and usually late at night. Batallones added that training was very challenging since he didn’t really take the sport seriously until he joined the competition.

“For me it was very intense. It was very painful because we didn’t really train with proper gear, we trained full contact. We also trained in various environments, like the beach,” he said.

Banez and Batallones also said they couldn’t have done it without the help of Garrick Jordan and Felix Palacios, who guided them throughout the competition. They also would like to acknowledge the following for supporting their first off-island tournament: Chris Biolcino, Randy Angco, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, Emon Lodge 179, Tet Piamonte, Connie Quidato, and Jason Tarkong.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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