Seikido stars shine at annual tourney

Ratkovic takes home first place

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control, indomitable spirit and harmony: words not only to compete by, but to live by for the Seikido family.

Each year, the Western Seikido club hosts a tournament in memory of black belt artist John Lemieux. This year, the John Lemieux Memorial was held on April 14 at Althouse College.

Seikido is a martial art combining the most modern and scientifically sound principles of many other self-defense techniques, such as Tae Kwon Do and Aikido.

At the tournament, athletes performed kicking, striking and sparring techniques in patterns and self-defence.

Srdjana Ratkovic, a member of Western’s Seikido club, placed first in both patterns and self-defence. She was happy all of her practice paid off.

“It just feels good because I have been training so hard,” she said. “I wasn’t here to win, but it always feels good to validate your hard work.”

Master Zeke Petkovic, co-founder of the Seikido club, sees the martial art as a great complement to a degree while at Western.

“Students who join in first year can get their black belts within their four years of undergrad,” he said. “It’s a degree beside your other degree, which is very nice.”

Western Seikido club president James Hodgson said there are many reasons one might choose to get involved with the club.

“Most people get involved because they want to keep in shape,” he said. “A lot of people are just really passionate about the martial art.”

It is also very easy to get involved.

“During both clubs weeks we have booths,” Hodgson said. “Whenever the university has safety weeks or something we try to get involved with that.”

Seikido offers opportunities for every individual no matter what the athletic ability or experience.

“You need to learn at your own pace,” Hodgson said. “Everybody here is a different size.”

Hodgson said Seikido is a great addition to his education and teaches him to deal with stress.

“I am not stressed,” he said. “It provides a more fulfilling university experience.”

For Ratkovic, Seikido is not just a sport, but something she lives by.

“I would like to get a black belt eventually,” she said. “I’d like to keep on training my whole life.

“It is definitely a lifestyle.”

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