English Karate Federation National's 2017

On the 8th & 9th April 2017, the EKF broke with tradition and revamped its National Championships. The resulting improvements were obvious to see, and this is how the event will be run in the future. More of this later though, as we want to bring you news of the success the Shinken Dojo had at the competition.

Paul Braid took a small squad to the event, but an experienced squad which managed to secure a bronze medal, and a further team silver medal in the Kata categories. The individual bronze medal went to Jordan taylor, who we mention on the news pages as having been selected for the European Championships in May. Jordan was in a large and very experienced senior men's section, and this podium position was an excellent result for him.

The team silver medal went to Amie Newton, Ellie Hayes and Mia Bower. Their team was competing in the junior girls section, and the trio managed to get all the way to the final. This was pleasing in itself of course, but they were in for a treat as they were to contest their final as part of a showcase end to the competition. On one centre tatami and with the whole audience looking on, they performed their kata and bunkai to a hushed crowd. Unfortunately they were nudged into 2nd place, but a fantastic end to a fantastic weekend for the Shinken squad.

The Shinken Squad can be seen below from Left to Right
Mia Bower Amie Newton Jordan Taylor & Ellie Hayes

The competition itself was, as we said earlier, revamped for 2017. The new Leicester Arena offered much more space not only for spectators, but for competitors needing to warm up also. This in turn translated into fewer people around the tatamis throughout the competition, and therefore more comfort all round.

Additionally there were fewer categories this year. Gone are the days with 90+ categories, and the more streamlined approach offered categories more representative of what the WKF European and World events offer.

The icing on the cake however had to be the showcase finals at the end of each day. Using only one centre tatami, the crowds attention was automatically drawn to the only two competitors or teams in action at any given time. This not only looked good, it added the pressure our competitors can expect as they travel across Europe competing at K1 and European Championship events. I have said for many years this is exactly how we should be running competitions, and now it has been proven to have benefits to all concerned. Long may it continue.


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