English Karate Federation Championships 2010

Over the weekend of 24th & 25th April 2010, the English Karate Federation held their National Championship’s at the Ponds Forge in Sheffield.

The two day competition followed the usual format of Kata and younger competitor's Kumite on the Saturday, with the remainder of the Kumite divisions being contested on the Sunday. Wado UK had representation from five of it's member clubs, with a wide range of ages.

mattyOn the first day of competition, Wado UK had only one Kata competitor, Matthew March from the ShinKen Dojo. With Matthew now being in the Junior (16-17 yrs) age group, he has noticed a marked improvement in his opposition. Undeterred he entered both his own group and that of the senior males. There was to be no medal position for Matthew on this occasion but he will be back in action at the next opportunity.

We had more competitors for the 13yrs and under Kumite categories though. The youngest of these were Ragen Allitt and Charlotte Pinder from the Woodford Dojo, Jessica and Nathan Bates from the St Nicholas Dojo along with Joe Rose from the Zanshin Dojo. This small group were all taking part in the sections for boys and girls that were 11yrs and under. Once again we would be denied medals, but not for the want of trying. All the youngsters are keen on competition and have all had success previously, it is likely their enthusiasm will pay dividends again before long. Joe managed to despatch two opponents in the early rounds, but succumbed to stronger opposition before the medal positions arrived.

thomasNext was the turn of Thomas Balaam-Reed from the Chikara Dojo. Thomas has plenty of experience in competition and it would show on the day. A determined young lad he shrugged off any nerves he had and got on with the job in hand. After battling his way through the round's he managed to secure the only medal of the day for the group, with a creditable bronze being his reward.

Joe Munro, Harry Oetegenn from the Woodford Dojo and Jessica Newton from the ShinKen Dojo were next on the mats. With these three, expectations are always high, because it is a very rare occurrence that they do not step onto the rostrum. This was to be one of those rare occasions though, with all three youngsters having to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and begin their preparations for the next tournament. The trio all did a good job on the day with some outstanding performances, unfortunately the opposition at this level is formidable.

For the Sunday's events we had Chris, Jamie and Dean Fenton along with Barry Meanwell, all from the Woodford Dojo, in the senior men's individuals. They would later be joined by Andy Barratt also Woodford and Paul Braid, ShinKen Dojo, to contest the men's team event. Ashleigh Clarkson from the ShinKen Dojo was our only female competitor of the day, in the junior category. Ashleigh got off to a good start, with wins against her first two opponents. The gremlins were soon back again though, as she fell at the next hurdle denying her the opportunity of a medal position.

Our senior men were next to start with the individual categories being first, Jamie being the first to compete for Wado UK. Once again disappointment was to be the order of the day as he fell short of the medals. This was also to be the case for Chris, Dean and unusually Barry too. The story for Barry was a bitter sweet one though. Former world Champion Colin Heath would be one of Barry's opponents and although slightly older than Barry, Colin is still a terrific competitor. The match was a thriller with the excitement being evident from the start. Barry was clearly a match for Colin, which may have come as a surprise to his opponent. Barry plugged away and by the end of the allotted three minutes, honours were even and a Sai Shiai match extension was required to separate the pair. Once again Barry kept his cool and fought hard for his reward after his recent relentless training regime. By the end of the contest Barry had managed a point’s differential between himself and Colin and the win was his. After a thrilling bout he now placed himself nearer the medals. Unfortunately it would be a tough day for him, next in line was England International Davin Pack. This proved to be just one step too far for Barry, as the England star managed to nudge Barry from the competition. Never the less a fantastic performance from the Wado UK Captain.

The team event would however, prove to be a different story. With all the Wado UK seniors coming together for the last event of the day. The first match was against the ShindoKai team coached by former world champion Paul Newby and former commonwealth champion Craig Burke. Barry managed to secure a win for the Wado UK team, but with this being the only win on the board at the end of the match, the team win belonged to ShindoKai. They then went into the final meaning that Wado UK were in the repechage.

The repechage would provide the last medal of the weekend for Wado UK. The opposition for this match was the Team of Toyakwai, this the team of Barry's earlier opponent, Davin Pack. Jamie was the first to compete with his opponent being none other than England International Alton Brown. Alton is a very experienced fighter who seems to have been on the scene for years. He was to find jamie somewhat of an awkward opponent though, as by the end of the match although he had won the score was only 1-0. To secure the bronze medal, our team had to depend on who else, Barry. His opponent would be the brother of Davin Pack and this time Barry was determined to stand on the podium following his fight. his determination and skill was enough to see the job done and he did get the chance to lead Jamie Chris Paul and Andy onto the podium for the medal ceremony.

Not the best weekend for Wado UK but It did have it's moments, what with the Colin Heath match as an example. The group are sure to have better day's ahead, maybe just around the corner!!

• Back to Results Master Page