KSE 8 Gloucester

An increased number of Wado UK competitors took part in this year's ShitoKai England KSE 8 competition. Previous years have seen the three Dhesi siblings travel the distance to Gloucester, however this year Oliver Dearing, Ellis Miller and Josh Hartery joined in and it was a very beneficial weekend for the group. 9 medals would be won over the course of the day, which included 4 Gold, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze.

The competition is divided into two main sections with the younger competitors of 11 years and below taking to the mats first. Once the traditional presentation of participation medals has taken place, the tatamis are cleared in readiness for the kata events to begin. This would signal the start of our medal success as 6 of our medals would be won in these opening events.

Getting the ball rolling was Amrit Dhesi as he managed to make his way through the rounds and secure himself a place in the final. A silver would be his reward as his opponent caught the eyes of the judges in preference to Amrit, but a good opener with better still to come from our youngster.

Teaming up with sister Charan next in the pairs category, Amrit would go one better in this event. The young pairing again making the final but on this occasion gaining favour with the judges on the area, and adding our first gold medal of the day to our overall tally.

Our next medal would be yet another gold as the previous pair were now joined by Ellis in the team kata event. Admittedly not an enormous event but never the less beating both of the opposing teams they were faced with meant that they had done all they could. This meant that for the youngsters the kata events were now finished, and the kumite events would now take place.

First up inevitably because of his age would be Amrit. Again making steady progress through the rounds and reducing the amount of opponents left to face, Amrit ended up with just the one opponent left. His final was to result in yet another victory and therefore another gold for both him and the Wado UK group.

The next medal came from Ellis in his kumite event. Following in Amrit's footsteps in making his way through the rounds, Ellis found himself in the medal positions in the semi-finals. This would be the limit of his travel though on this occasion settling for a well earned Bronze medal.

To finish off these 11 years and under events the trio of Charan, Amrit and Ellis now joined forces in the mixed team kumite event. A novel approach which sees two boys and one girl in each team line up gave an opportunity for this first Wado UK team set up. It would pay dividends however as its conclusion saw our team in the final against the team of Western Karate Union having dispatched all before them to this stage. It would prove a step too far securing this title but they performed well and deserved their silver reward following the event.

Around 1.30pm the 12 years and over categories began. This transition would see a further 3 medals added to our overall total, with Josh Hartery kicking things off with an impressive performance in his individual kata category. Amalgamated because of numbers this particular grouping included both male and female and competitors beyond Josh's 13 years age group. This didn't seem to have any effect on Josh's performance though because he beat all of his opponents to secure his first medal of the day, a very impressive gold. He would later go on to bolster this result with a deserved bronze in his kumite category also.

Our final medal of the day would be secured thanks to yet another impressive set of performances by Oliver in his kumite section. Yet again looking like he was in the wrong age category with all of his opponents standing taller than he, Oliver just got on with the job in hand making his way through the rounds. His efforts were rewarded with a personal bronze medal, and the final piece in the 9 medal jigsaw that was our Wado UK result. An added bonus was seeing Oliver walk away unscathed as normally the size difference he has to deal with sees him pick up injuries. Not today!

I'm sure that the quality of this event will see us return in 2016 despite the distance required to travel. Sometimes you just have to put in the miles to benefit from quality events and this is one in that category

Well done everyone and a big thanks to all the parents for their time and financial investments, and of course to Gaynor Dent, Chris Dearing and Coach Miller for their efforts on the day.

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