Wado EXL 2007

The biggest Wado Karate event for many years took place over the weekend of 29th 30th September; it was called Wado Excel and was divided into two days. The venue for the event was the Shrewsbury Sports Village in Shrewsbury Shropshire.

The first day was set aside for seminars with some of the country’s top instructors teaching. Mr Kuniaki Sakagami who has taught Karate in this country for over thirty years was also in attendance.

Day two was to be one of the biggest competitions of the year, with an expected 1000 competitors. Mr John Moreton’s Wado UK Karate group attended and was represented by three of its member clubs. A total of 16 competitors including both junior and senior ages represented the three clubs.

John Moreton’s own Woodford Dojo entered three of its most experienced senior males. Veteran campaigner and Wado Uk captain Barry Meanwell, along with Jamie and Chris Fenton. The trio were in action in both the individual and team Kumite (Fighting) sections and were expected to do well.

Barry got off to a flying start winning his own weight category and securing his first gold medal of the day. Consolidating it later when, joined by Chris in the senior men’s team event, they managed to beat off strong opposition and reach a place in the final. The opposition for the final came in the shape of Jamie’s team which had also battled its way there. The strength of Barry and Chris’s team showed through however, taking another gold medal but leaving Jamie’s team in a respectable silver medal position. Disappointment was on the cards for Chris later though, after dislocating his thumb during a bout he had to retire from the bronze medal fight off position in his individual event.

Emily Watson from Steve Balaam-Reed’s Chikara Dojo entered the senior ladies and senior ladies team sections. Her efforts managed to push the gold medal tally further forward, with a good performance during the team event.

Paul Braid who runs the Shinken Dojo also entered the senior men’s section but had to settle for experience gained on this occasion.

The cadet section from the group saw Craig Bunting from the Chikara Dojo in the 16-17 yrs Kumite section. Craig is no stranger to competition but missed out on the medals this time.

The junior age group was well subscribed and also had their share of medals. The Chikara Dojo securing a kumite gold medal with Jordan Fox in the boys14-15 yrs section and two silver medals with Ashleigh Clarkson in the 11-13yrs girls section and Alex Backshall in the 10yrs and below boys section. Other Chikara juniors competing who were unfortunately out of the medal positions were, Thomas Balaam-Reed, Nicole Balaam-Reed, Leah Clarkson, Charley Ollet and Isobel Glazzard.

The Shinken Dojo also sent junior competitors who featured in the medals. Jessica Newton taking the gold in the girls 11-13yrs section, along with Charlotte Angarano taking a bronze in the girls 10years and below group. Mathew March battled hard but just failed to bring home a trophy.

All in all a good day out for the group a total of 5 Gold 3 Silver and 1 Bronze medal was a solid performance. Chief instructor Mr John Moreton said he was happy with the results as it showed the group had strength in depth, with a good crop of youngsters coming through.

Anyone who would like information on the Wado UK Karate Group or any of its Dojo’s should go to www.wado-uk.co.uk or ring Mr John Moreton on Hull 712155.

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