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UW Martial Artist Wins Bronze Medal at International Karate Tournament
January 6, 2011 — University of Wyoming Karate Club instructor and Outreach Technology Services technician Ben Froidevaux won a bronze medal at the recent 2010 Basel Open Karate Masters International Karate Tournament in Frenkendorf, Switzerland.
Now training with elite members of the Swiss National karate team, Froidevaux (a fifth-degree black belt originally from Neuchatel, Switzerland) represented his native country in the Veteran's Division (ages 40-50) in both Kata (forms) and Kumite (sparring). Froidevaux was awarded a bronze medal (third place) for Kumite and also placed fourth in Kata. He was among more than 560 competitors from 15 countries participating at the tournament.
"It's very interesting and educational to experience the differences of martial arts competition in Europe and the United States," says Froidevaux, who also holds multiple regional and Wyoming state titles in karate and fencing.
"Although the karate styles are similar to those in the U.S.A., the choice of Katas in competition is standardized and the level of difficulty and performance is very high, which makes for great spirited competition, international camaraderie and an enthusiastic fan-based atmosphere of friendly rivalry much like that at a good football or basketball game."
A UW karate instructor since 2005, Froidevaux teaches traditional martial arts that focus on self-improvement and character development.
"Although competition is not a focus in traditional martial arts, tournament participation is a fun option available to students and is a great way to help develop traditional virtues such as spirit, discipline, self-confidence, respect and camaraderie," he says.