This time around, Cebuano bet James Delos Santos used a different technique in his finals' showdown with Portuguese rival Eduardo Garcia.
Using the Unshu, an advanced form of kata known as “cloud hands,” worked wonders for De los Santos as it earned him his fourth gold medal following a close 25-24.9 win over Garcia in the online Athletes’ E-Tournament's Kata Individual Male Seniors Division.“This is the third time I’ve faced Portugal (Eduardo Garcia) in a final showdown. My first two times were unlucky,” said De los Santos.His coach Masa Saito was able to help him get through the difficulties of the Unshu, which is taught to shotokan practitioners at the 3rd to 4th Dan level.“I have to admit, he’s a tough player to beat. But when the third time came around, my kata coach from Japan, Masa Saito, and my parents suggested I use my favorite kata, Unshu. It finally paid off,” said De los Santos.
The Filipino karateka wowed the judges in his video presentation, as the Unshu technique contains many delicate hand techniques such as the ippon-nukite (one finger strike) in the opening sequence.“This victory means a lot. This will motivate me to train harder for the upcoming virtual tournaments,” said De los Santos.Garcia, whose form was better when De los Santos used the sansai technique in previous matches, tried to impress with the Chatanyara Kushanku, which is a high kata from the Shito-ryu style of karate, but still fell short.Last month, the Cebu-based De los Santos snared his third gold medal in the online Balkan Open karatedo etournament, where he outpointed Silvio Cerrone-Biagioni, 25.3-24.5, in the finals of the individual kata men's division.
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