Well done to everybody who competed in the JKA England 2014 National Championship.
There were some great performances throughout the day and the standard of other JKA England clubs was very high.
Results: Shion Bronze Medal in Kata, Megan Bronze Medal in Kumite, Purita Gold Medal in Kumite, Sonoko made the Semi-Final of Kata in what was a big step-up into a difficult category, Anju Double-Gold Medal for Kata and Kumite, Jacob, Ryan and Avan came 4th Place in Team Kata, and Anju later scooped the Trophy and Shield for the Best Junior Female Competitor!
The next Competition will take place on Saturday 1st November, back at the K2. In the meantime, we have the club summer training camp at the beginning of August, Kyu grading in September and the JKA England autumn gasshuku, also in September.
Well done to everybody from the club who participated in the JKA England 10th Anniversary Championship! Congratulations to our medalists in their respective categories:
Tara: Kata Gold, Kumite Bronze; Ryan: Kata Gold, Kumite Bronze; Peter: Kata Silver; Alaa: Kumite Bronze; Purita: Kata Gold, Kumite Gold; Itsuko: Kata Bronze, Kumite Silver; Fabiola: Kumite Bronze; Sonoko: Kata Gold, Kumite Gold and Anju: Kata Gold, Kumite Gold!
Special guests in attendance on the day were a representative each from The Japanese Embassy and The House of St Barnabus, and Mrs Enoeda who presented medals to the winners.
This was a very good day for Shiranamikai – a fantastic result for the club!
If this has inspired you to participate at the next championship, the time to start working hard is now, during regular training and by practising at home every day. Then, when the event comes around, it might be you who wins a medal!
Karate competitions tend to have an early start and a late finish. This one was no exception, but arriving at 8.15am, we found the draw sheets had already been posted and the areas were all ready to go. Right through to the finals, things seemed to run smoothly – no mean feat given there were over 800 category entries from more than 400 competitors.
Shiranamikai had 17 members take part. We came away with a total of 7 gold medals, 2 bronze and a team kata silver – a fantastic result for our club!
In their particular categories, Anju, Ryan and Sonoko picked up double gold – each of them winning in both kata and kumite. Alaa won gold in individual kata, Peter bronze in ippon kumite and Avan bronze in sanbon kumite. Our adult kata team of Sonoko, Peter and Alaa came 2nd place, bagging silver medals!
All of our competitors showed strong spirit and did a great job of representing Shiranamikai. Whether you win a medal or not, competitions are a great way to test yourself and learn something about how to develop your karate. And it can be fun to spend time with your teammates! We saw some superb performances of kata and kumite from various competitors throughout the day, showing the high level that can be achieved through hard work in the dojo.
Our squad: Yuji, Will, Shivani, Dharvi, Anju, Iman, Sara, Peter, Ryan, Avan, Sonoko, Lisa, Megan, Alaa and Tara. Our helper on the day: Sheila.
The next competition will be the JKA England 10th Anniversary Championship on 2nd November. It’s only 4 months away, so the time to start practising is now!
This was the first time that Japan Karate Association members of the four nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland had come together for a united competition in the UK.
Ohta Sensei introduced each country’s senior representatives, and JKA England’s Technical Committee and squad coaches. The special guest of the day was Mr. Eiji Watanabe, First Secretary of the Japanese Embassy in the UK.
There were seven student entries from Shiranamikai:
Danny put in a very good kata and kumite performance. In both events of the men’s 9th-7th Kyu categories he was drawn against the eventual gold medalist. Iman, Sara and Sheila have all improved technically since their first competition.
On to the medals: Dharvi won the bronze medal in kumite while Shivani picked up two medals this year: silver in kata and bronze in kumite – very well done! Finally, congratulations to Anju who at six was the youngest competitor and the lowest grade in what was a very large kata category. After some cracking performances, she won the gold! I have to say how impressed I was with the attitude of all four medalists in this section – the final rankings were announced incorrectly twice before being corrected the third time. But all the young ladies in the final dealt with it admirably (far better than some of the Olympians did back in June) and seemed genuinely happy for each other, making them all winners. Events like this really do help to make new friends!
Well done everybody who entered! And thank you to Delia and Darius for looking after us all and making sure the students got to their areas promptly! The next competition will take place in June 2013. But don’t wait until then to get ready; now is the time to set your goal – then train and practise regularly!
After a whole day cooped up in a stuffy sports centre in Slough, Shiranamikai karateka were keen to get back home. Our team put in a set of great performances across a range of categories and came away from this year’s Championship with five SEVEN medals! Well done to all.
First up for kata were the youngest juniors. All performed well on their first competition outing. Yassin put in a powerful and confident performance but after holding another strong competitor to a draw twice in the first round he was unlucky to lose the final decision in the tie-breaker. Anju’s accurate technique and super kiai saw her through to the final, where her Heian Nidan earned her the silver medal!
The older boys and girls also performed well in kata. In the 6th Kyu to 4th Kyu category Shivani got through to the final, where a solid Heian Sandan earned her silver. Parth achieved the bronze medal position in the Boys’ 3rd Kyu and above group, demonstrating nice hip rotation with Tekki Shodan.
In the ladies senior kata, Beth’s hesitation and Sasha’s minor stumble saw them both eliminated early on. In the men’s division, Austin went all the way to the semi finals, where he performed Jion to earn a place in the final four and earned bronze with a smoothly executed Gojushiho Sho.
Much, much later in the day the kumite events took place! Several of our juniors made it through the first round but it was Matthias who took bronze for a strong sanbon kumite (13-15 years). Lisa did well to earn a bronze medal for ladies kumite (9th to 6th Kyu), while Peter took bronze in the mens!
It was great to see everyone mixing and enjoying the day together, showing good spirit and trying their very best. We’ve all come away motivated and with ideas on how we can improve on our karate. Thanks to all the competitors and supporters for contributing to a great day!
Next year’s Championship will hopefully be held in slightly more salubrious surroundings with more seats and a nice cafe. We look forward to building on what we achieved this year.
After a long but very worthwhile day, Shiranamikai came away with 4 medals at the London and South East Championship!
David: Bronze in kumite
Parth: Bronze in kumite
Danny: Gold in kata, Bronze in kumite
Well done guys – and to everyone who competed!
Here are a few highlights of the day:
It was a close call between Fabiola and her opponent in kata but despite kiai-ing (her opponent didn’t), the flags went the other way.
In the men’s kumite division, Anthony looked strong and confident. David, despite receiving a cut eye (prompting ten minutes of first aid treatment), bravely continued and went on to take bronze.
1st Kyu Will sailed through his first round of senior grade kata. In the second round, his Heian Godan was sharp enough to earn a draw against an experienced 3rd dan, before going out on the next kata called.
Parth did well to maintain his concentration during one of the longest running kumite rounds and finished up with bronze. It took a long time for things to get moving on his area and there must have been lots of aches from sitting on the wooden floor for so long.
Finally, another good Heian Godan earned Danny top marks in the final and a gold medal.
So, great stuff! There was a really good atmosphere with family, friends and helpers supporting our competitors. Everybody came away with something: in some cases a medal; for others an insight on how to improve their karate or the inspiration to start competing.
The next competition will be the JKA England National Championship in July 2012. As usual we will be entering a team and look forward to bringing back another good set of results. For those of you that would like to enter – now is the time to set your goals and start working towards them at the dojo. One way to get a head start is the next JKA England course on Sunday 4th December at Loughborough University, Leicester.
They say things happen in threes. One week ago I had a puncture and ended up buying a new set of tyres. On the eve of the competition, I got a call from a stressed parent who needed a lift because they had a flat tyre. Then, no sooner than we had arrived in Crawley, I received a text message from another student who had a blowout en route and wasn’t going to make it!
Still, the rest of us who got there early had plenty of time to check registrations and relax before the start. First up was Dharvi for kata, one of the youngest in a large category. This was a close call in an even match but she went out to a higher grade.
Shivani was pitted against a much bigger girl for kumite who went on to take gold. Although under pressure defending first, she recovered well to put in a good performance. A hesitation towards the end of an otherwise good Heian Nidan counted against Parth in another large category. Anthony went out to the same yellow belt medalist in both kata and kumite. But he showed long stances and looked strong.
Sasha got to the semi final of kata but was just 0.1 point behind the finalists to place 5th – the same situation as last year! In kumite, she went out to the gold medal winner. I missed out on a place in the kata semi-finals against a stronger opponent and was in the loo when my kumite category was called. With 580 entries to get through, there was no waiting for latecomers. Still, if you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. The kids’ categories were very large. There could be as much as six years age difference between the youngest and oldest kata competitors which is a big jump for children. Also, for those first to be eliminated, one and a half hours is a long time to be sat on the floor waiting for it to finish.
The event itself ran very smoothly overall. There were seven areas, each with a JKA England senior and a full contingent of judges, referees and timekeepers. This was a big improvement over the last two years. With no lunch break or finalists’ parade and Ohta Sensei presenting the medals after each category, everything kept moving.
We didn’t stay until the end, it finished a little after 8 o’clock. By this time I had already eaten dinner and was tucking into some ice cream and a cup of tea. So no medals, but everybody kept smiling which was great. Sasha and I are very proud of those who took part and are extremely grateful to Suzanne and Sheila who gave up their Saturday in order to help out. Let’s keep up the momentum for the next club grading which will take place on Tuesday 9th August.
The next association event is a training course in Walton on Thames on 17th July which everybody should try to attend.
With sword fighting, drumming and magic tricks on the programme, it might well have been the script for a Takeshi Kitano film.
You would also have been forgiven for thinking that the competition had taken place in France as they had by far, the largest supporter! But the reality was that this was in Crawley, Sussex. England was playing host to the 2011 JKA European Championship.
Jörgen Bura, JKA Europe Technical Director delivered the opening message and initiated a one minute silence out of respect for those affected by the earthquake in east Japan.
Then the event was underway.
Elimination rounds for individual kata were first, followed by team kata, individual kumite and team kumite. After a break for stage assembly, all the competitors entered the arena while a live drumming performance took place. We then experienced a demonstration of medieval sword and stave fighting with Robin Hood and Shakespeare characterisations, before getting back on track with the finals.
There were some exciting performances. Of particular note was the male cadet team kumite where some lightening quick scoring by Serbia helped to secure first place. A member of the Norweigan team showed great spirit and technique during his kumite matches and went on to take gold. The England female cadet team performed a sharp Unsu, missing out on gold by a mere 0.1 point!
It was great to see the JKA England squad competing amongst the best in Europe and with competitors evenly matched in so many face-offs, a number of the bouts could have gone either way. Although the largest contingent, Germany, clearly dominated the results tables, JKA England have proved its high standards on the world stage, finishing joint 3rd place with Italy in the medals table overall – out of the 21 nations who took part.
If you didn’t make it to the event, there is a DVD in production which should be ready to buy within the next couple of weeks (we’ll post an update once it is released). With performances of all the Heian katas and Tekki Shodan, Bassai Dai, Kanku Dai, Jion and Empi, plus a variety of kata being performed as choices for the finals, it might be a useful reference aid. The kumite should also prove exciting!
Overall medal ranking:
1. Germany – 12
2. Serbia & Belgium – 7 each
3. England & Italy – 6 each
4. Hungary – 5
Top three gold medal winners:
1. Germany – 5
2. Hungary – 4
3. England, Sweden, Czech Republic, Belgium, Norway, France & Serbia – 1 each
The next international karate event is the JKA Junior European Championship to be held on 23rd-25th May 2011 in the Netherlands. Then three months later, the 2011 JKA World Championship (12th Funakoshi Gichin Cup) will be held on 18th-21st August in Thailand.
This year’s Kyu Grade Championship was held at the Guildford Spectrum Leisure Complex. With this being the regular venue for the annual JKA England special courses in spring and summer, it was familiar territory. A few of us met bright and early at what is becoming our usual table in the Costa coffee bar before grabbing some seats in the main arena. We then took time to affix competitor labels, try out the mats together and settle a few nerves.
The Shiranamikai representatives were Sheila, Rupert, Peter, Parth, Danny, Mo, Connor and Jeremy. All made us proud, through giving their best efforts on the day and through the dedication they had put into training for the event. For most of the group this was a first experience of taking part in karate competition. It was also nice to have a few supporters in attendance.
Adult purple belts Sheila, Rupert and Peter were in a difficult field, with some very experienced karateka being positioned in this category. Our bunch distinguished themselves with clean technique and excellent posture. With the benefit of experience and knowledge of what to expect, I am sure we will see this group go from strength to strength in future events.
Parth (green to purple belt age 9-11 category) performed a solid Heian Nidan in the first round of kata but unfortunately missed a kiai which may well have cost him the match. In kumite he reached best 8 and narrowly missed out on a place in the finals. Well done Parth – a big improvement on last year.
Yellow belt Danny (orange to yellow belt age 13-15 category) made his way through the kata elimination rounds in style with a powerful Heian Shodan, earning a place in the finals. However, a missed kiai point in an otherwise strong Heian Sandan unfortunately cost vital points leaving him in fourth place. In kumite, Danny came away with a Bronze medal. Bravo Danny!
Red belt Mo (adult orange to yellow belt category) gave spirited performances in both kata and kumite, making his way through a couple of rounds in each. “That bloke’s actually quite good!” said an onlooker watching Mo perform. Yes, we know! But unfortunately the decision did not go Mo’s way.
Our orange belts Jeremy (also competing in the adult orange to yellow belt category) and Connor (orange to yellow belt age 13-15 years category) should feel proud of how they performed. Connor’s nice long stances and Jeremy’s much improved posture were a pleasure to see.
We had a feeling that we might pick-up a little bit more metalware this year, with a number of competitors looking sharp and strong in the elimination stages. But despite the team displaying technique and spirit in abundance, it wasn’t to be. Nevertheless, everyone came away with something valuable: an improvement to be proud of and the ambition to do even better in the future. We look forward to seeing everyone continue to develop. Well done to all!
Although entering the competition this year, the commitment of teaching in Swiss Cottage at 2pm meant that there was little chance of my competing before having to leave at midday latest – adult categories don’t normally start until around this time. As it happened, events seemed to be underway quicker than usual this year and I could see that it wouldn’t be long before the men’s kata would start.
After getting my dogi out of the car and throwing it on, I still had 10 minutes to warm up and stretch before the Men’s Kata category came up. I saw from the order sheet that initially, I had a ‘bye’* before being up against last year’s winner.
I managed to push through the nerves and clear my mind before being called. Unfortunately, I cleared it a bit too much and whilst drawing back for the hammer fist in Heian Shodan, realised that Wayne Maliszewski, my fellow competitor, was performing Heian Sandan (the correct kata, as called by the judge)!
Now, at this point there were a number of options that flashed through my mind:
1. Continue with Heian Shodan and at the end apologise, saying I thought they had called Shodan.
2. Pull back, re-announce and perform Sandan.
3. Pull back and bow, allowing my fellow competitor to continue without any further disturbance.
At the time, option 3 seemed the most appropriate and we did have a laugh about it afterwards. So congratulations to Sensei Wayne, who went on to win gold!
Before dashing off, I did get to see Sasha through several rounds of kata. She did well; placing 5th overall, just missing a place in the Final by 0.1 of a point.
So, no medals this time for our club but we still have the kyu Nationals to look forward to in October.
*A ‘bye’ occurs when there is an amount of entries at any round, that are not divisible by four. In order to make up the numbers so that ultimately, the final has two competitors, blanks are entered into the draw along with names. If your name is randomly drawn against one of these blanks, you automatically go through to the next round.