Tobi Ishi Kai Championship 2010

Seven members of the Wado UK Karate group were in action recently, at the Tobi Ishi Kai Championships in Worcester. Star of the show was without doubt Barry Meanwell. Barry entered the Team Kata, as well as the Individual and Team Kumite sections. By the end of the day, Barry had performed with such confidence and composure, he had managed to win all three events and secure another set of gold medals for his collection.

For the team Kata, Barry joined forces with Paul Braid and Matthew March. Matthew had just completed his first event of the day, where he performed with strength and maturity. Matthew is a very polished Kata performer and by the end of the event he had obviously impressed the judges. Leaving everyone behind, Matthew had won his first gold medal of the day.

The team performance was however, the new focus of attention. In the team Kata, synchronicity is a major factor, as well as all the requirements for the individual event, thing’s such as strength, accuracy and understanding of movement. The trio performed well in the first round giving a strong demonstration. So much so, that they won the round 3-0. This gave them a place in the final and an opportunity to consolidate the earlier gold medal for Matthew. This is what happened and following another polished performance; the team secured the second gold medal of the day. This also provided Paul with his first medal of the day.

The group also had another Kata competitor on the day, Joe Munro was entered in the junior boy’s section. Joe is a very keen competitor and had no hesitation putting his name on the list for the long journey to Worcester. It was to pay dividends for him, as he too added his name to the list of medal winners for the day. Joe had strong opposition to contend with, but his enthusiasm was to see him win a podium finish, as he hung the bronze medal around his neck.

The Kumite divisions started after lunch and again Wado UK had several divisions to contest. It was decided to kick off the afternoon session with the team events. This was because Wado UK had entered the senior men’s team section, but one team member was there in the first instance as a referee. Getting the team section completed early, would mean that Tony Dent would be able to change back into his uniform and continue with his duties as an official. Barry and Paul had asked Tony to join the team for this event, enabling Wado UK to enter. Outstanding performances from Barry meant that Tony didn’t even need to join in the first match, as the score reached 2-0; their opposition had no way to win the three man event.

Moving into the final, a change in team order to allow Tony to fight was taken. However, with their opponents in the final only having only two fighters, it was possible that team captain Barry could once again do the job single handedly. With predictable style Barry won his fight and as they had already been given the first match it was 2-0 and all over. No need for Tony then, but now he could get on with his officials duties.

Another gold medal for the group and the second for Paul, but now it was time for the individuals. First up was Ragen Allitt, in the Kickmaster Kumite division. This contest was to give some of the younger children the chance to compete in safety. Two youngsters had to go head to head with a kick bag to see who was the most energetic and skilful. By the end of the contest, Ragen had managed to add another bronze medal to the group’s total.

Still not finished, the Wado UK still had three competitors to go. Joe Munro who had competed earlier in the Kata events was now back in action. Joe is a regular competitor and showed great determination in his quest for success. He managed to beat all his early opponents, booking himself a place in the final. The final was an exciting affair, with Joe pushing hard for points. His opponent in the match though proved just that bit stronger and as a result, Joe had to settle for what was a very well deserved silver medal.

Next up was Jessica Newton. Jessica is a very experienced fighter, despite her being just thirteen years old. Every time Jessica competes expectations are high, this is because of her outstanding competition record. Today was to be a very tough day for the young athlete though. Some of the day’s competitors were there as last minute preparation for the upcoming European Championships in Turkey. Jess put up a valiant effort to get herself a podium finish, but meeting the England international Heidi Jay in the semi-final was a bridge too far. Jess should be proud of her performances on the day though, the bronze medal she won was well earned.

Finishing the day off was Barry’s next chance for medal success. He was competing in the senior men’s section and hopes were high. Barry continued with his earlier committed performances, not dropping a single match on his way to the final. The final was no different, as he dominated his opponent with skilful kicking and punching techniques. By the end of the fight, he had his third gold medal of the day and only dropped a single point in the process.

As the day drew to an end, Wado UK members had added another four gold medals, one silver medal and three bronze medals towards the years tally.

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