CENTRE WELLINGTON – Siblings Hannah and Ethan Wright from Elora recently travelled to Orlando, Florida to compete at the World Karate Commission (WKC) World Championships Oct. 23 to 27.
To get this spot they both had to compete provincially and finish in the top eight. They then finished in the top four nationally to get invited to the world stage.
“A lot of our team, they played really well,” Hannah said.
This is the 17-year-old’s fourth time competing in the world championships.
“My first worlds were in 2019,” Hannah said. “I remember I got third in fight- ing that time.
“My second worlds would have been in 2021 and that was in Florida. I had won fighting and won overall in the girls fighting division.
“Last year was Ireland. I had taken third in fighting.”
This year, Hannah came home with a gold medal and world title as the 15 to 17 girls point fighting champion.
She is also the current Guinness World Record holder for most kicks by a pair in one minute.
That journey documentation can be found at youtube.com.
Hannah first began martial arts after stretching on the sidelines while Ethan, who began the sport at three years old, was training.
She recalled being about seven when this happened as she was a synchronized swimmer beforehand.
“I liked to show off that I was flexible,” she said.
“I started really liking watching my brother, so I joined myself and then became more competitive with it.”
Ethan, 13, came home from the WKC world championships with a bronze medal in Chinese soft style forms.
“The tournament went pretty well. I competed in two divisions, traditional weapons and Chinese forms,” said Ethan.
He trains about five days per week and has his black belt, along with his sister, in both kung fu and karate.
He too participated in the world championships in Ireland last year.
“The best part about doing martial arts is getting to teach the group of kids who will be competing the way I compete,” he said.
Both athletes teach others the art of karate or kung fu.
“I teach people like my teammates, parents, even some people around the same age as my parents and people that are like three years old. It very much ranges,” said Hannah.
“Working with those around me, people I care about – it’s really almost a second family.
“It all just really drives me to do better and be my best self.”
Hannah added her main goal has always been to work with the next generation and build them up to be stronger competitors.
Ethan said he doesn’t see himself pursuing it as a career, but would like to continue doing martial arts throughout his lifetime.