Justin Jubinville-Mah shows a position in a traditional form

Saanich martial artist a master of form and grace

Mount Doug student fundraises to for shot at top martial arts tournament in U.S.

Justin Jubinville-Mah likens his katas as a type of dance – preset movements that demonstrate form, grace, timing and power. Although this dance can involve swords or spears or canes.

The 17-year-old Mount Douglas student and Gordon Head resident has emerged as one of Canada’s top young martial artists after an exceptional year of competition.

At the World Martial Arts Games in Austria in September, he won eight gold medals for his katas (traditional forms), which placed him as the most decorated athlete at the tournament. Not long after, he came out on top in three divisions  in the Western Canadian championships in Vancouver.

That earned Jubinville-Mah a chance to compete in the National Blackbelt League (NBL) Super Grands World Games, considered the peak of martial arts competition in North America. To get to the games in Charleston, South Carolina, Jubinville-Mah needs to raise $3,300 by Dec. 26 for flights and lodging.

“The NBL super grand is legendary in martial arts in North America. It is a long-established tournament and the best of the best go,” he said. “I hadn’t dreamed of going to the super grand. I was shocked to get the invitation.”

Jubinville-Mah is squeezing in fundraising and training for the Super Grands with high school, helping organize events like Mount Doug’s Fill the Foyer food drive and teaching muay thai and kickboxing. “I’m trying to juggle a lot of activities at once,” he said. “I love to volunteer and to be part of the community. I try to give back as much as possible.”

Jubinville-Mah’s mom started him in martial arts training at age 8 as a means to keep him physically active. He took to training with exceptional discipline, and entered his first kickboxing competition at age 9. At age 15, he was the youngest person to earn a first Dan adult black belt under the Tracy Kenpo system.

“To get ready for my first Dan I practised every day – I’d catch the bus to the dojo after school and not leave until after 9 p.m.”

After a hiatus from competition for a few years, he represented Canada at the World Martial Arts Games in Austria in katas.

“Katas remind me of dance – the sense of movement that is performed in a sequence. It’s sets of different techniques against an invisible opponent. It’s a way to show how different moves flow together and a way to keep traditional martial arts going,” Jubinville-Mah said.

Katas are judged on technique, energy and timing and can involve weapons or open hand. In Austria, he won first place in eight of the nine competitions he entered, despite being bumped up to an adult division.

“I was competing against people a lot older and a lot more experienced. It was really nerve-wracking. These are respected masters of martial arts and I had to compete against them,” he said.

“I got a lot of praise and was very humbled by it. Masters were saying it was an honour to compete against me. I was awestruck. I was very happy after Austria.”

He had planned to ramp down from 40 hours per week of training, before the invitation to the Super Grands. “Some people train their entire career for this tournament,” he said. “I’d love it if I could go.”

Jubinville-Mah is fundraising through gofundme.com/go4gold.

 

editor@saanichnews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls-Royce on display at Victoria’s Royal BC Museum

The classic car has been a favourite for Beatles fans from Victoria and internationally

VIDEO: Driver found guilty in Saanich crash that left Leila Bui with catastrophic brain injuries

Tenessa Nikirk convicted on one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Oak Bay man refuses to stop drinking beer, gets $230 ticket

‘An expensive lesson,’ says Deputy Chief

Greater Victoria man killed in Alberta accident was expectant father

Geordie Murray described as ‘wonderful husband, brother son and friend’

West Shore RCMP look to identify man who allegedly stole two hoverboards

Suspect described as five-foot-10, heavyset, with dark brown hair

VIDEO: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

Both patient and wife arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

‘Big money’ funding B.C. politics now mostly from taxpayers

Campaign targets $16 million and counting in ‘politician welfare’

Ski lift closed at B.C. mountain over alleged actions of former employee

‘We are actively investigating and dealing with the actions of a former employee,’ said the resort

VIDEO: Music stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant at Grammys award show

Music artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Rick Ross and Kirk Franklin paid tribute to Bryant

Coastal GasLink stresses pipeline ‘on a schedule’ as B.C. appoints liaison for Wet’suwet’en

670-kilometre pipeline is schedule to be completed by end of 2023

Furstenau flays NDP as she launches B.C. Green Party leadership bid

LNG, Site C dam wrong for environment, Cowichan MLA says

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

Most Read