Shifting to a more difficult technique, James de los Santos won his sixth online karatedo tournament of the year last night.
His title win allowed the 30-year-old De los Santos to firmly hold the second spot in the world rankings.
The level of difficulty of the Ebi-geri, which is used in the Genseiryu style of fighting, earned De los enough points to claim the crown in the Echampions Trophy Series 1's individual male seniors division.
De los Santos, who is seeking more points to be able to reach the no. 1 position, outperformed Matias Domont of Switzerland, 25.7-24.5, in the finals.
“The ebi geri (shrimp kick) is the highlight of the kata. It’s difficult to keep it steady. The turns also make it very complicated,” said De los Santos on his execution.
So far, Eduardo Santos of Portugal is the no. 1 bet with 7075 points with De los Santos far behind with 3870.
“I’m still no. 2, sir. It’s still a long journey,” added De los Santos.
South African Silvio Cerone-Biagioni, whom De los Santos beat in the quarterfinals, is at no. 3, with 3145 points, followed by Leonardo Birra of Italy (2960).
De los Santos' performance involves turning the body, touching the ground with both hands, and then applying the Ebi-geri explosively, using full power of the body towards the “enemy.”
This is different from what De los Santos did when he used the unsu technique as he upstaged Sternisa Nejc of Luxembourg, 25.9-23.4, in the finals of the E-Karate Games 2020 the other day.
A few days ago, De los Santos refined his video presentation with the assistance of his coach Masa Saito, who is in Japan.
“This tournament will add points to the virtual kata world rankings. The journey to no. 1 continues,” added De los Santos, who reached the finals when his Canadian rival Scott Taylor's video was rejected.
In the quarterfinals, De los Santos advanced after prevailing over Cerone-Biagioni, 24.9-24.3.
Saito instructed De los Santos to take the unsu form, which is the shito ryu version of Unshu in earlier competitions.
Unsu is the most advanced kata found in the Shotokan, known as cloud hands.
Last month, De los Santos earned his fourth gold medal after he emerged slightly victorious over Garcia, 25-24.9, in the online Athletes’ E-Tournament's Kata Individual Male Seniors Division.
Two months ago, the Cebu-based De los Santos snared his third gold medal in the online Balkan Open karatedo etournament, where he outpointed S Cerrone-Biagioni, 25.3-24.5, in the finals of the individual kata men's division.
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