English Karate Federation

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EKF National Championships, Ponds Forge, April 24th & 25th 2010

The 3rd Official English National Championships took place over the weekend of the 24th & 25th of April 2010 at Ponds Forge, Sheffield with over 700 entries to this premier event. 

This was the first National Championships organised by the new EKF Event Organiser Paul Campbell and a first for the new EKF Chief Referee Dale Gamble.  Both Paul and Dale looked comfortable in their new roles and looked seasoned pros during the weekend. The whole championships were very well organised with all 6 mats running continuously throughout the tournament with a full complement of referees for each mat for the duration of the championships.

The championships commenced with the Kata events on Saturday with Ishinryu, Hanko Ryu and Ken Yu Kai associations taking a large majority of the Kata medals.  There were some excellent performances and displays from the athletes, this included the individual events and team kata event., this gave the spectators the opportunity to see the Bunkai ‘application’ of the team katas performed. 

The first day of competition saw the Individual and team Kata events take place followed by the children’s Kumite events. Competition day 2 hosted the Cadet, Junior and Senior Kumite events for both individual and teams. Both days were busy, both on the mats and in the spectator stands which made for a fantastic  atmosphere throughout the day.

Starting proceedings on day one were the children’s Kata categories, with the Peewee’s up first, followed by the 10-13 year olds. For these categories there were no repechage or joint third positions which resulted in each medal position fiercely contested.

Hanko-Ryu took a one-two in the Mixed Peewee Kata event with Michael Homles defeating Toni Shering in the final with Karate Do Shitokai’s Bella Jarvis securing third spot. The Girls 10-13 years event was won by Ken Yu Kai’s Lauren Tutty who beat Katie Pharo from Hanko Ryu in the final with England Karate Kan’s Jaye Gerring securing bronze. The Boys 10-13yrs saw Kieran Nunkoo from AMA retain his National title whilst Ishinryu’s 10 year old Dahni Maisauria did well to gain silver with Matthew Jacques winning Shindo-Kai’s first medal of the day securing a bronze as he did last year.

The remaining Kata categories, 14-15 Year Cadet and upwards were all hotly contested as they were all held to full WKF rules, and where the England representatives and England ‘A’ squad members all showed well securing a number of top podium positions. The first of these were the Cadet events, where Ishinryu secured a one-two in the Female Cadet event with Aimee Sell retaining her title over team-mate Rebecca Birch  and with Ken Yu Kai’s Kelly Horsfall and Charlene Oakes securing joint bronze, winning through repechage. Aimee, Rebecca and Kelly are all Kata ‘A’ squad members with Aimee and Rebecca representing England at the  recent Junior World and Junior European Championships.

Ishinryu secured a further gold in the Male Cadet event, with Chris Karwackinski beating AMA’s Navin Patel in the final with Navin matching his performance from last year gaining another silver. England Karate Kan’s Dominic Wyness and Toyakwai’s Jack Newey both won through their repechage rounds to secure joint bronze. Chris, Dominic and Jack are all members of the ‘A’ squad, Jack performed at the Junior Europeans whilst Chris was in Team Kata.

The Female Junior event was won by Hanko Ryu’s Nuri Sheikh matching last years win with Ishinryu’s Emma Lucraft gaining silver. Bronze’s were secured by Natalie Charlton representing Karate Do Federation and Natasha Nussbaum representing England Karate Kan, both winning their repechage matches to medal. ‘A’ squad members are Emma and Natasha with Emma representing England at Junior European and World level.

The Male Junior Kata event was won by Alex Gardner from Shindo Kai who beat Ishinryu’s Steve Kawackinski in the final. The joint bronze medals were won by Alex Williams from Hanko Ryu and Mohammed Salih from Shotokan Karate Centres. Both Alex and Steve are ‘A’ squad and also represented England at the Junior Europeans.

Last of the individual Kata events were the Female and Male Senior categories. The Senior Female final saw Ken Yu Kai’s Ashleigh Kenny retain her title beating Ishinryu’s Emma Lucraft in a close contest, with Kate Kawackinski securing another Ishinryu medal and Lisa Marfell winning the other joint bronze medal. Ashleigh, a former European bronze medallist is currently selected to compete in Athens at the Senior European Championships.

The Senior Male event saw Ishinryu claim a one-two-three with Jonathan Mottram, John Gardiner and Steve Kawackinski securing gold, silver and bronze respectively with Reece Taylor claiming the final bronze for Hanko Ryu. Jonathan, a former Junior European silver medallist and Senior bronze medallist currently selected for the Senior Europeans, leads by example, not only competing but coaching nationally, Reece is a former Junior European Champion and both gave a brilliant display of Kata technique when they met in the 2nd round, Jonathan going on to win gold and Reece eventually winning through repechage to claim his deserved medal.

The final Kata events were team events. The Team Peewee champions were Hanko Ryu beating Shoujin Karate Kai in the final. Hanko Ryu secured another team title in the Mixed 10-13 years event beating Karate Do Federation in the final.  The peewees are showing fine form and it won’t be long before they are challenging the cadets and juniors for their positions on the England ‘A’ squad.

The Female Junior Team champions were Ishinryu who included two of the three Junior European Team bronze medallists 2010, Aimee Sell and Rebecca Birch joined by Kate Karwacinski, retaining their title from last year defeating Ken Yu Kai (Lauren Tutty, Kelly Horsfall and Natalie Payne) in the final. Both teams performed their Kata Bunkai’s in the final, Ishinryu performing Unshu with Ken Yu Kai performing Chatanyara Kushanku.

The Senior Male team saw an all Ishinryu final as they claimed another one-two after the performance of Ishinryu B’s Kankusho (Gareth Hains, John Gardiner and Jonathan Mottram) beat Ishinryu A’s Gojushiho (Alen Evans, Chris & Mike Wilson). Once again both teams performed their Kata’s with Bunkais being performed.

The Kata element of these championships, were of a tremendously high standard, where the best of the best pitted themselves against each other. There were many close decisions and the judges did well to choose between them.

Out of the 43 Kata medals contested, Ishinryu secured 14 medals, practically one third of all Kata medals. Well done to Ishinryu’s and England’s Kata coach Jonathan Mottram. Ishinryu won 5 gold, 7 silver and 2 bronze medals. Hanko Ryu won 4 gold medals, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals securing 9 in total. Ken Yu Kai won 2 Gold medals, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals securing 5 Kata medals in total.

The Peewee Kumite events soon followed the Kata with the Boys and Girls Kumite events being contested first. Shindo Kai claimed a gold and bronze in both Boys and Girls events; Isabel Gaunt beat Nianh Horsfall from Ken Yu Kai in the final with Danielle Crabtree claiming a well earned bronze. The Boys event was won by Joe Whitlock beating Hanko Ryus Michael Holmes in the final with Danny Gaunt claiming bronze.

The 10-11 years Kumite events were split by gender with each having two weight categories. The Girls U35kg champion was Yamaguchin Goju Kai’s Casey Dalton beating EKKA’s Georgina Lawson into silver. The Over 35kg champion was England Karate Kan’s Jaye Gearing adding to her Kata bronze, with Ken Yu Kai’s Natasha Holmes securing silver and Hanko Ryu’s Katie Pharo claiming bronze and her 2nd championship medal adding to her Kata silver.

The Boys U37.5kg event was won by Toyakwai’s Cuba Parris with silver going to England Karate Kan’s Shea Turner and bronze to Wado UK’s Thomas Baleem-Reed.

The Over 37.5 kg event was won by Cuba’s brother, Bleu Parris beating Lewis Brettonel of Shindo Kai in the final. Bronze was claimed by Jake Frewin from International Karate Federation.

Toyakwai soon claimed their third championship day one Kumite title as Hannah West beat Shindo Kai’s Deenna Saleh in the final of the Girls 12-13 Years U45kg event with Ken Yu Kai’s Lauren Tutty adding a bronze to her individual Kata gold.

The Over 45kg category champion was Ishinryu’s Melissa Williamson beating EKKA’s Olivia Farthing in the final with EKKA claiming another medal from Hannah Moody with bronze.

The final day one Kumite events were the Boys 12-13 Years categories. EKKA claimed a one-two in the U45kg event with Mitchell Williams and Michael Blackwell securing gold and silver respectively and Jack Toy-Mills taking bronze for USA.

The Over 45kg saw Ken Yu Kai claim 1st and 3rd with gold and bronze going to Lindon Hamer and Rico Kur respectively and USA’s Jack Toy-Mills claiming silver.

The young competitors all fought very well and once again there were many close decisions as all the competitors fought to a high standard. There looks to be a great many potential new squad members due to come through the ranks which bodes well for English Karate.

Toyakwai had made a good start to their Kumite medal tally on the opening day securing three golds with Shindo Kai claiming two in the younger categories. Could Toyakwai continue their great form in the remaining Kumite events on day two?

Day two started with the 14-15 year old Cadets in action with a spluttering of Junior and Senior categories being called. This inevitably led to the climax of the Senior team Kumite events, considered the blue-ribbon events of many championships. All events on day two were held to full WKF rules. The WKF championships, whether World or European are seen as the pinnacle sporting achievement in Karate and running these championships to the full WKF rules gives every athlete, whether selected or not, the chance to compete and experience WKF rule conditions first hand.

As per WKF rules there were many Cadet, Junior and Senior weight categories for both Male and Female events, the full list of results can be found on the EKF website. Suffice to say there were many, many excellent fights and it was good to see that the currently selected senior squad due to attend the Senior European Championships in Athens next month all do well.

England selected Emily Griffiths from EKKA won her Senior U50kg event beating Laura Hitchen from SSKU in the final.

Natalie Williams from BIKO won the Female Senior U61kg category once again, this time beating former Junior European medallist Alice Goudie in the final.

The female U68kg category saw Amy Thomason from Kaizen Central loose out to EKKA’s Lauren Cook in the final.

Katie Hurry from Sport Karate won her event, the Senior Over 68kg category, beating British Karate Association’s Jennifer Wilson to secure a national title for herself following last years silver, Jenifer also improving on last year gaining a silver up from last years bronze.

In the male events, Chris Harris from EKKA secured gold in the Senior U60kg category as he did last year , this time overcoming KDI’s  Ross Mathieu in the final showing he is continuing his preparations well.

Preparing well too was Toyakwai’s Alton Brown who looked in great form as he swept through his opponents to secure gold in the Senior U75kg category once again.

The Senior U84kg event proved interesting as Alton stepped up a category to face Toyakwai and England team-mate Davin Pack in the final of the U84kg event. Davin is selected for this category with Alton in the U75kg category yet in a excellent encounter it was Alton who came out on top this time to secure his 2nd gold of the day.

The last of the selected individual seniors was WKU’s Rory Daniels who also looked in good form securing the Over 84kg title to add to his growing collection of national titles beating his WKU team-mate Daren Hayes in the final.

Summary

Day one saw Ishinryu finish as top association for Kata securing 5 National titles closely followed by Hanko Ryu. The Kumite categories are where Toyakwai showed their dominance, securing 12 National titles. Out of the 50 golds available, Toyakwai secured 12 of the individual and team golds, just under 25% of all gold medals available in Kumite which is a great achievement and praise must go to Toyakwai Chief Instructor Joe Anderson and his coaches on their excellent work.

Overall, Toyakwai finished top of the association’s medal table with 12 golds, Ken Yu Kai showed good strength across both disciplines securing 8 golds and 23 medals in total whilst Ishinryu added to their Kata total securing 7 golds in total finishing 3rd overall.

These championships were supported by DE Photos where additional photos to purchase will be available on their website www.dephoto.bizAVA Sport also supported the event running a stall throughout the weekend allowing the athletes the opportunity to purchase any necessary safety equipment or accessories. Chamber TV covered the event filming all weekend;  their website, www.ekftv.co.uk is where you will be able to watch coverage of the National event.

It was good to see the National Coach Wayne Otto OBE and his assistant national coaches in attendance at these championships intently monitoring the performances of the current England ‘A’ squad members performances and watching the potential future England representatives coming through.

There have been many positive comments for this tournament from athletes, coaches and supporters alike all commenting on the smooth running, the continuous flow of the areas, the number of referees and quality and generally, stating that this was an enjoyable championships.

Congratulations to EKF Events Organiser Paul Campbell and his team who took on board the comments from the Regional Championships and put on a great tournament and to Chief Referee Dale Gamble and all the referees/judges and officials who helped make this tournament possible. Also, thank you to all the Athletes who competed and to the many friends, family and supporters who travelled from all over England to Sheffield to make this a truly enjoyable weekend.

The Showcase event of the English Karate Federation National Championships were held at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre Sheffield last weekend 24th to 25th of April.

There was a wide range of categories over the two days ranging from Peewee boys and girls to senior men and women spanning some 70 events. It is fair to say that the event practically ran to the allocated time over the two days. Full credit and huge congratulations has to be said to EKF Events Organiser Paul Campbell and all his support staff for their achievements.

It was also nice to see the presence of EKF Television providing a platform for exposure to a wider audience of our members.

The general standard in performance of the athletes in general has risen on recent years and this has to be put down to the hard work going on behind the scenes through clubs and associations up and down the country as well as the unprecedented support of the parents and volunteers working on all sides.

It is impossible to attempt to give an in depth event by event analysis over the two days as this would be hard to get it all right. The results will be published shortly where we can all scrutinise and comment. As a member of the National Coaching staff it provided me and my colleagues and opportunity to view and observe members of the National Squad at work and monitor progress. Praise should also be given to the association coaches whom have worked hard over these years building their squads to the standard they have reached in recent years.

The referees also deserve a special mention because without their continued hard work over the two days and behind the scene workload we would not have had a great tournament. Full credit to Dale Gamble for all his hard work and input since taking on the job of Chief Referee.

There were some outstanding performances from certain individuals over the two days some of whom received special awards and presentations.

What we hope to take away from the weekends events is the hope that through continued development and investment in all our practitioners we can go from strength to strength on both sides of traditional and sport.

Ian Cole, Assistant EKF Coach

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