On Sunday 21st April 2013, we took a squad to the KarateSport England open championships in Loughborough.
Competing were; Liam, Tom, Alex, Ethan, Jordan, Ben, Matt and Kay.
First event up of the day was the boys Wado Ryu kata. In true Soaring Eagle style, the first person up was Liam! (It always seems that one of our competitors is up first!) Liam put in a really strong Pinan Nidan to get the day started.
Next up was Ethan, performing a lightning quick Pinan Godan (maybe next time slow it down a bit!!!)
Following Ethan was Tom, putting in a calm and collected Pinan Sandan for the judges scores.
Next was Jordan, demonstrating a good Pinan Yodan to be judged.
Finally in this groups was Ben, with a strong Pinan Sandan to round off the group.
Unfortunately we didn't get any medals from this event, but it was a good experience for all.
The next group for us was the senior male open kata, in which Alex would be competing. Despite being in a group of other styles and high belts, Alex calmly put in a nice Pinan Shodan.
First up for Kumite was Kay, in the senior female shobu sanbon. This was to be a tough group for Kay, losing to the eventual winner of the event in an oddly scored, but well fought bout.
Our next involvement was in the Boys 8-9 year old kumite. In this group we had Ethan, Liam and Jordan competing.
First out of the blocks was Ethan, having to fight in a preliminary round to get to the last 16, which he did with ease!
Following that, he was straight back up to fight again, this time for a quarter final place! This he took well in his stride, winning by 4 points to 0.
Next up was Liam, fighting Billy Moore of Red Star Karate. Not one to be phased by his opponent, Liam fought hard against the eventual finalist.
The next fighter was Jordan, coming up against another strong fighter, but putting in a strong performance to add to his experience.
Up again now was Ethan for his 1/4 final bout. Ethan was tested in this round, having to come from behind each point, eventually coming out on top 4-3! Talk about leaving it to the last minute! Semi Final next for Ethan.
For this semi final Ethan was up against Billy Moore. This wasn't going to be an easy fight!! With the prospect of medals to be had Ethan didn't need firing up for the match, and was ready to take the fight to Billy. Ethan fought hard, probably too hard, accumulating an Atenai Chui for excessive contact, but eventually lost out in the dying seconds. The work was done and Ethan, after 4 fights, had won bronze!
The next groups were the cadets. Tom was in the under 60kg and Matt in the under 70kg groups.
First up was Tom, fighting an opponent a good foot taller than him! Tom fought well, but lost to a more experienced competitor.
Next was Matt. He had a good fight against a strong opponent, and possibly due to some controversial decisions missed out on points, in what should have been a much closer score.
Next up was Kay again, this time in the senior female shobu ippon event. Kay set out in an intimidating attack on her opponent to take the fight to her, but narrowly missed out on the point. After the restart she set upon her again, but despite her best efforts received an atenai for excessive contact. After the restart Kay was on the offensive again, and was very close to scoring, only to be a fraction slower than her opponent who got the point to win. Overall, a very good confident fight from Kay!
The final fighter of the day was Ben, fighting in the Boys 10-12 years under 45kg. Ben weighed in that morning at 36kg, so was probably the lightest fighter in the group!! Ben's first opponent was a strong fighter from ESKF. Ben took this in his stride, and despite being winded by a powerful opponent, managed to work his counters in to eventually claim the win, and a place in the quarter final.
Ben's next opponent was again from ESKF. Not to be phased Ben fought with confidence, but was overpowered by the much faster ESKF fighter. This was a promising showing from Ben, despite being one of the lightest and youngest fighters in the group, definitely one for the future!!
Unfortunately Alex had to pull out of the kumite due to illness, but should be back for the next competition!
Overall the performances were very pleasing by everybody and coach Oliver couldn't have been happier with the results. Definitely some future prospects in the ranks to bring back more medals in the future!!