The Vilcu's Karate Klub of Weyburn will host the 39th annual Vilcu's International Martial Arts Championships on March 23rd at the WCS Eagles gym. 

Head Instructor for Weyburn and Estevan, Isaac Vilcu, said they're expecting between 200 and 250 competitors from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, as well as from the northern United States. Their biggest tournament in more than 20 years was held last year, with 209 competitors. 

"We're hoping to reach about another 40 to 50 more competitors this year," said Vilcu, noting their sport involves a lot of traveling to participate in competitions hosted by the various clubs in the Saskatchewan Martial Arts Association. "We do about 10 competitions a year here in Saskatchewan."

This year's 39th annual event would be the 42nd if not for a break taken during COVID.

"It's $10 for spectators to come in and watch, and we just take payment at the door, cash only," he noted. "It'll be held at the Eagles gym at the Weyburn Comprehensive School. You have to stay up in the stands there up top, as we only allow the competitors and the coaches and officials all out on the floor."

Black belt competitions run throughout the day, with medal presentations also taking place after each round, so spectators don't have to worry about missing those.

Vilcu said last year they had about 20 black belt competitors split into different divisions.

"You have your junior black belts, adult black belts, executive black belts, which is a 35 and over, then you have your senior black belts and you got your female black belts, but we are in competition throughout the whole day. The black belts anyways, as there are a number of black belts, a little bit more than average."

He said there will be six grand champion trophies handed out, as well as an overall grand champion for the black belt who collects the most medals. 

The youngest black belt Vilcu said he'd ever seen at a competition was just five years old. 

Those younger competitors will start off the day, following the musical forms and the weapons forms at 9:00 a.m. The event will run until about 5:00 p.m. 

The cost to enter for competition is $75 for all events. 

The Vilcu's Karate Club is looking for more sponsors for their event. Find the details in the photos below. They are also looking for more items to be donated to the event's silent auction.