Buffaloe competes in Los Angeles
Warren County’s Christian Buffaloe, the 14-year-old son and student of Kyokushin Karate instructor Kenny Buffaloe, recently competed in the teen youth division of the Kyokushin Karate U.S. Weight Category Tournament in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo.
Sponsored by I.K.O. Kyokushinkaikan, the annual tournament is one of the largest Kyokushin Karate full-contact competitions outside of Japan.
Over 100 fighters came from around the world from countries including Japan, Russia, Poland, Australia, South Africa, Serbia, and Canada.
Christian Buffaloe was the only competitor from North Carolina in the teen division against competitors from Russia and Japan.
Christian fought a tough teen youth champion from Osaka, Japan in his first round match. Keitaro Kanehisa recently won the All-Japan Kansai Kyokushin Youth Championships, one of the most prestigious championships in Japan.
Christian Buffaloe’s taller Japanese opponent dominated the match with his superior size and reach.
Christian Buffaloe fought back, but his experienced opponent kicked him hard into his left knee joint causing extensive damage and received a half point. Christian fought back even harder to the surprise of the spectators, but lost the match to the judges decision due to the damage to his left knee. The spectators gave him loud applause for his efforts after the match.
Christian Buffaloe was then given the chance to fight for third place against another Japanese teen competitor who was 6 feet, 168 pounds.
Christian’s larger Japanese opponent zeroed in on his injured knee, trying to win by knockout. Buffaloe bounced back, but lost a close judges decision making it to fourth place in the teen division.
Kenny Buffaloe wrote in an email to The Dispatch that Christian Buffaloe was grateful for the opportunity to participate and promises to train even harder for future events.
Sensei Kenny Buffaloe and Christian Buffaloe were invited to participate in a private, high-level Kyokushin training seminar conducted by top Japanese Shihans (master teachers) from the International Kyokushin Organization the day before this championship.
Led by Shihan Katsuhito Gorai, the Buffaloes trained for over 2.5 hours along with top instructors and fighters learning many new training and fighting techniques.
FUJI-TV, Japan’s top cable TV network, filmed highlights of several key matches in a special news report of this year’s championships. There was also a professional video production company filming the event to be released later this year on DVD in Japan and later internationally.
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