Karate Canada wrapped up its 2013 Commonwealth Karate Championships, Oct. 11-13, with more than 600 participants from across Canada and from six other nations - Australia, Botswana, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa - facing off at the Pierre Charbonneau Centre, in Montreal.
World Karate Federation President, Antonio Espinos, attended the event, as well as several guests of honour including Commonwealth Karate Federation President Michael Kassis, Canadian Olympic Committee representative Andrew Baker, and Érika Duchesne from Montreal.
Canada made a strong showing with many podium results, and Scott Hill, 37, of The Way of Life Martial Arts in Tillsonburg was right there with them.
Hill, captain of the Shintani Wado-Kai International Karate Team, competed in the Kumite senior male 84-plus kg (heavyweight) WKF Elite black-belt section and placed third.
"My first time at Commonwealths, and actually the first for our whole national team," said Hill.
"I think it's the first one they've had in Canada."
As a team, Hill said they did well with several medals at the 7th Commonwealth Karate Championships.
"There was a young lad, in his last year of junior," said Hill, noting in the SWK organization they move up to men's at the age of 16. "He had a pretty big advantage over those kids because he's had to fight us (men).
"I was happy with how I did, especially with it being the Commonwealth Games. The competition was just unreal. When we're with the national team, the calibre of the tournaments are just outstanding."
There are very, very few 'easy' fights at that level.
"If you do, you're very lucky," he laughed. "Very lucky."
Hill had three matches in the heavyweight division. Losing his first match dropped him to the consolation side with no chance of climbing back to the A side.
His loss was 'a little frustrating', he admitted.
"Towards the end he got up on me – scored a point with a kick to the head. Three points. It was a nice kick... woke me up."
In his final, he cracked a bone in his forearm, near the elbow, and finished his medal-winning match injured.
"I realized I was hurt and I had to keep punching with it. I wasn't going to stop. Not in a third-place match at Commonwealths. Not when I'm nearing the end of my career.
"I was trying kicks and everything, because I knew... it had happened closer to the beginning of the match. I wasn't going to show I was hurt."
Hill had three other events scheduled, but could not continue. Medical personnel on-site thought it was dislocated.
"It's still not fully healed," he noted, hoping to recuperate before the International Team's April tournament in Scotland. "I've been taking it easy, but it's been hard with work. I've had to take a lot of time off work with X-rays and bone scans – that's how they found the crack."
After Scotland, he said, it will probably be retirement from the SWK national team.
"I think that will probably be it. I think this is it. I'll stick to teaching, and hopefully I grade up in June, so I'm looking forward to that."