The Hayashi-ha Karate Cup was held June 4, 2011 at Bellevue High School in Bellevue, WA. John McMillan competed for the Lakewood dojo of the Washington Karate Association. John has trained in karate for over 14 years. He had to stop training in karate for 7 years in order to attend school and work. Two years ago he began taking karate lessons with a renewed vigor. John currently holds a brown belt in Hayashi-ha Shito-ryu, which he learned from Sensei Chuck Sweigart at the Lakewood dojo. John Also holds a blue belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu. John is a member and coach of the Competition “A” Team for Lakewood dojo.
John approaches karate with a very high level of enthusiasm that is infectious to those around him. He is extremely respectful, gracious, and a great mentor to all of the other karate students. However, due to his large size, speed, and strength he is a formidable opponent. His goal in kumite is to always exhibit more competitive spirit than his opponents. At the Hayashi-ha Karate Cup, John’s tenacity had a huge impact on his opponents often leaving them flat footed while John attacked them with lightening quick speed. It was easy to see that his confidence was high due to the rigorous training and coaching he received from Sensei Sweigart and Sempai Nate Williams a 3rd degree black belt at Lakewood dojo.
In John’s first match he planned to be aggressive and hoped to score first using his front hand to create openings for his reverse punch. This strategy worked well with John scoring twice, but then his opponent started applying pressure, John faked his reverse punch and scored two points with a round house kick to his opponent’s ribs. His opponent charged again and John quickly kicked his opponent in the ribs for another two points. John then scored a point with a quick punch to the head. At this point John was winning 7-0. His opponent sensed defeat and charged John threw a punch that hit his opponent too hard resulting in a penalty point against John. John quickly finished the match by scoring another punch to his opponent’s head. Final score was 8 to 1.
John applied the same strategy in his second match. He attacked his opponent with an over the top right hand hit to the head. Then John grabbed his opponent’s gi, spun him around and hit him before he could react. John’s opponent then applied pressure and John counter punched with a right hand to the stomach. John was 6 feet from his opponent and he did a quick shuffle step and landed a left hand to the stomach. John then scored 2 points when is opponent went out of bounds on purpose. With the score 6 to 0, John shuffle stepped and hit his opponent in the head with an overhand right punch. John then counter punched with a right hand to the stomach thus winning the match 8 to 0.
If you watch the movie you can see and feel the intensity and passion that John uses in kumite. I am glad he is my sempai (student/teacher) instead of my opponent.