Kelly Albert: Goodwill
By Benjamin Mills
WANT A PIECE OF ME? TOO BAD. Kelly Albert shows his menacing look;
the same look that made a 12-year-old cry.
It's not unheard of
for Western athletes to dominate on a provincial, or even national level,
but when a Mustang dominates his or her sport on the world scene, it makes
for some interesting news.
Kelly Albert is a fourth-year biochemical engineering student from Huntsville,
Ontario. He's the head lifeguard at the Deerhurst Resort during the summer,
one of his favourite movies is Bad Boys, his favourite band is Creed,
his favorite colour is yellow and he just happens to be an ass-kicking
Did I mention he just won three count 'em three medals at
the Goodwill Games, held this past January in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico?
He is a mixed martial artist by trade, and in case you don't know what
mixed martial arts is, we will explain. It's a combination of karate,
jiu jitsu, aikido and kendo. Albert said he favours jiu jitsu for the
grappling, and karate for the history and mental aspects. Here's one more
fact for you: Puerta Vallarta is a vacation hot spot on the Pacific, and
is frequently the destination of many Price is Right showcase showdown
prizes. Just thought you'd like to know.
As for those three medals, they were gold, silver and bronze.
His gold medal was earned in, a seven match, single elimination sparing
tournament where you face off against other opponents, scoring points
by striking opponents in either the chest and torso area, or within a
three-inch halo around your opponents head without making contact
with the head, otherwise you get disqualified.
Albert went on to win a silver medal in the open-hand kata, finishing
behind a Canadian teammate. Katas are a set routine of strikes and kicks
done in a similar format to gymnastic routines, but slower and involving
no tumbles or flips. Judges score on form, technique, flow and stance.
Albert's bronze came in the weapons kata, where the competitors use different
ancient weapons in their routine and are judged on overall weapon handling
expertise. Kama, which is similar to a sickle (think former Soviet Union
flag) was his method of mayhem.
Fourteen countries competed, including: the United States, Canada, Great
Britain, Australia and Mexico. "The Americans were very good at sparing,
but overall the British were the toughest," Albert said.
Canada was the overall winner in mixed martial arts.
His next step is the World Championships, but he says he needs to focus
on the upcoming school year in order to graduate.
Did I mention that he's in biochemical engineering? I had to look in the
dictionary just to learn how to spell that.
During the school year, he trains much less than does during the summer
it must be tough to train for the World Championships, let alone
train with 36 hours of class a week. And I think I have it tough juggling
four hours of class with 36 hours of pot-smoking every week.
He hits the gym whenever he has spare time and runs frequently. During
the summer he trains at the Baker-Racine Karate School, going to four
two-hour classes every week. His "Mr. Miyagi" Sensei
Racine has a fifth-degree blackbelt in all four of the previously
mentioned martial arts. Basically, that means he could kick my ass four
different ways, times five.
Kelly sees his martial arts as an extra-curricular activity, not something
to aim for as a career option with the Ultimate Fighting Championships
or Pancrase. "I want to keep my face," Albert offered as the
rationale behind his decision to stick with academics over drop kicks.
Smiles and sunshine aside, Albert did make a kid cry during a sparing
match when he was 12-years-old and those 12-year-olds can be harder
than week-old meatloaf.