Hartlepool Wado Kai Karate Championships 2015

After a year’s absence, the Shin Ken, Hull Zanshin, East Hull Woodford and Chikara Dojo's returned to the Wado Kai Hartlepool Open on the 22nd March. Arriving in plenty of time the chaos which was to develop began to reveal itself. At a different venue to the last time we attended, we had hoped for an improved event. Unfortunately that wasn't’t to prove the case, and the tight squeeze of years gone by was exactly the same but just in a different place. An even bigger venue is proposed for the 2016 event, but perhaps we will wait and see how others respond to it before we commit again.

On a more positive note, our small squad of eleven did manage to offset the frustration by securing 3 gold medals, 3 Silver’s and 4 Bronze. This despite Josh Hartery turning up with flu like symptoms. Getting the ball rolling were Amrit Dhesi and Ellis Miller in the pairs kata category. Leaving the tatami with a gold medal around their necks was a great start, but one which Josh Hartery and Steve Balaam-Reed were soon to repeat. Josh and Steve however achieving theirs in their individual categories. Further medals in kata would be delivered by Joe Rose in his individual category, along with Amrit in his where they managed to win a silver each. Finishing things off in kata would be Thomas Balaam-Reed who took the final kata bronze of the day.

Kata complete the Kumite sections got underway. First up was Sam Gray who competed valiantly throughout his kata, Kick-Master and Kumite categories, but just lacked that bit of luck to help him into the medal positions. Losing to the eventual winner in kata, and drawing competitors from CEK in both kick-master and Kumite meant Sam would have to flourish to progress. In both events he did well and almost got to the medal positions in the Kick-Master but went out a round too soon. Kumite saw him dominate his opponent but have his lead stolen by a less dominant opponent. Never the less Sam did really well and should be proud of his achievements on the day.

Medals would arrive though thanks to Ellis Miller, Jakub Lutwiejko and Joe Rose. Joe, Teerth Dhesi and Josh Hartery would go on to form a team later in the day also. In the individuals it was to be Ellis that got the best result as he walked off the tatami wearing silver. Unfortunately in his semi-final he produced a maegeri which looked like a peach of a score, but which the judging panel didn't even flinch at. Even more unfortunate was the damage to his big toe he suffered in the process. Never the less he fought on in the final not wanting to drop out, but clearly in a lot of pain. Joe and Jakub managed a bronze each in their individual categories, despite both their respective categories looking as if they were populated by youths much older than they were.

Unfortunately in the team event Josh had to be replaced by a reserve from a Yanagi Kai club with his illness now sapping him of all his energy. Joe now captained the team to what would be the last medal of the day, a consolation bronze.

It didn't’t turn out to be the best competition of the year, in fact I’m hoping it turns out to be the worst. However forgetting about the ridiculously cramped conditions and only having three tatami's, our squad salvaged the day by delivering the 7 medals. Well done to you all.


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