Last week we conducted two grading’s and both went fantastically;
While this grading wasn’t explicitly a 3rd kyu and above grading the lowest grade attempted on the day was for 3rd kyu and thus the expectations to grade were high… luckily the standards were higher and everyone passed with flying colours.
Many congratulations to our new 3rd kyu Heidi.
Many congratulations to our new 2nd kyu Neil.
Many congratulations to our new 1st Kyu’s George and Joe.
Massive congratulations to our new Shodan’s Archie and Lewis - We are very proud to have such black belts representing us. While you wear your belts with pride and a sense of achievement we see all our black belts as role models to our other students and we have just added another two fantastic role models to the group for others to look up. Well done lads, keep up the great work!
This session was not only a display of great potential and great progress but also showed just how much the students are capable of upping their games when it counts. While we are very proud of them for doing just this they have now set the standards by which they will be held accountable to over the coming months and the rest of their journeys. We have a great group of juniors and over the coming years we are very excited to see them progress.
Many congratulations to all of the below students;
I can’t believe it’s been a year since the last nationals. The last year has gone so fast… but on Saturday we found ourselves at Leicester Arena with the CIKA England Squad once again – this time coached by our Chief Instructor Pete Watson Sensei and with the addition of Heidi Stanton now she has ‘come of age’ ;-)
From our 3 students competing 2 took part in kata. Poppy was up first and didn’t progress past the first round unfortunately. While ringside her competitiveness kicked in in the warm up area you could tell that Poppy was there for the Kumite that day and was just doing kata from habit still almost. We can tell that Poppy (now our team captain) is maturing and beginning to specialise at a higher level and being in the National Kumite Squad now it’s natural that her focus is beginning to take that path. We will come on to her Kumite later in this blog but for now a big well done for a stellar performance of Empi but a just decision this this for her opponent to progress in the event.
Lewis was up next and met the eventual division champion a few rounds in. After nailing his Gankaku there was a cause to be a little shocked at the decision vs his opponents Kururunfa but you certainly can’t deny the calibre of his opponent who performed numerous other excellent kata on the day and was a worthy champion on the day. That being said as Lewis entered reportage his game lifted again. He wasn’t prepared to go home without a medal and even more fight came out him. a superb unsu and an explosive and solid sochin in the final saw Lewis take the Bronze and we are very proud of the way in which he did so! Well done Lewis.
Heidi was first up for kumtie, it was her first time in this division being at the nationals but you would never know. She approached the bout with confidence and took the lead and senshu on roughly the 30sec mark. Unfortunately she was a victim of her own success and then panicked a little due to lack of experience. You could see she now felt she had something to loose and her approach became much more defensive and allowed her opponent to press her opposed to carrying on with her domination of the first part of the match and building on her lead. After fending off her opponents attacks for a long time her opponent eventually found a way in… unfortunately with a body kick and was awarded a wazara with very little time on the clock left. Her opponent went on to medal and with more experience under her belt we know Heidi will go on to great things. Well done Heidi!
Poppy was next on and in her usual full blooded fashion took to the ring and competed with fire and commitment. Her first round was very impressive and she built her points excellently. During her final round in the pool she landed lots of excellent techniques… but the trouble was she LANDED lots of techniques… and warnings for contact ensued rather than points being awarded. We all love Captain Poppy but we are also well aware that control is something she must work on because when she gets in the ring and is fully committed to her techniques she can be known to make a bit of contact, shall we say ;-) so while having the opportunities to win that bout unfortunately she didn’t (her own fault) and with her opponent progressing she went into reportage. The reportage final was completely different though, Poppy owned the ring and learnt from her previous misjudgements taking the Bronze medal in style! Well done Poppy!
With Lewis up in the final section of divisions for the day he took the brunt of all the little delays adding up. That being said… first round… 8-0 in about 1min… BOOM! Lewis was clearly ready to go! During the rounds Lewis scored 18 points in total completely unopposed and made the final in the most impressive way. The final was quite cagy at first and Lewis movement was excellent after noticing his opponent was a very direct attacker and never really worked off the line at all. Unfortunately his opponent did catch him, making use of his big reach advantage with a good lunge which was well timed. With all that said though, a silver medal, 18 points scored and only 1 against at the nationals… that’s great days’ work! Well done Lewis!
Once again, many thanks to the students supporters. To the parents that go out of their way week in and week out to the likes of Archie who couldn’t compete (due to his age) who just came to support and help with team mates in the warm up area. I love the dynamics of our club and how that team atmosphere is always there with everyone willing to help each other. We achieve collectively and each of you are to thank and congratulate not just those with the medals from the day.
So to summarise, 3 competitors, 5 events and 3 medals… great work guys! So proud of everyone involved :-)
The day started off excellently. For a club that’s known for its fighters our kata exponents shone this weekend.
George has been dying to try Annan in the ring after teaching himself the kata at home and then working on it in the dojo for the last few weeks. A deal was struck with Coach Pete that George would do his normal competition kata in the rounds but if he made the final he could do Annan… and of course George made the final! George did a good Annan but even with much room still to improve he took the gold medal and was a very happy boy indeed! Well done George.
With poppy on next for kata (called early and without a warm up) we opted to do Gankaku in her first round to make sure she had the opportunity to do the kata in a tournament before the Nationals in a few weeks. Without being disrespectful we have confidence that and of her other katas would of seen her through the first round but nerves got the best of Poppy with this being the first time she has done Gankaku in a tournament. However these club competitions are exactly just for gaining this sort of experience. Medals are nice but development is the key. Playing is safe isn’t the way to progress and improve. As the saying goes… “good is the enemy of great” and progress is the key with such a young team. Well done Poppy!
Lewis was the last in our team up for kata and he was on fire. Without doubt the best he has performed each kata in the ring. A great Kanku Sho to start, then an excellent Unsu followed but a very explosive, precise and controlled Gankaku to make it to the final. Then up against another excellent kata athlete in the final who did Chatanyara Kushanku. Lewis did Sochin in the final to attempt to play strength and power against his opponents speed as Lewis had already used his ‘fast’ katas in earlier rounds to ensure we got them in before the nationals for ringtime. Again a inform Lewis performed the best Sochin we have seen him do to date and on a split decision his opponent took the gold this time. A very well deserved Silver and with result focused tactics, opposed to Lewis development in mind who knows what could of happened in the final! Well done Lewis.
By the time we got to the Kumite the event was running considerably behind. Heidi was up first and after the delays her head wasn’t on it in all fairness. Heidi has been in form of late and this wasn’t the girl we have been used to seeing. The lack of food and long delay saw her get in the ring mentally fatigued and some bad decisions cost her unfortunately.
George was next up and it was the same story for him too. In all fairness all George wanted to do at one point was sleep and we had to try and keep him going for when his event was called. Giving everything he had as usual George rushed in a few times and was made to pay.
With Poppy on next she was rearing to go! Our tem captain is someone you can always rely on to ‘bring it’ in the ring and that she did. Taking on a bigger opponent in the first round she used the ring well and scored some very well timed points. The second round she fought the eventual division winner and showed her class by pushing her to the wire. Poppy defended well and looked to counter but narrowly missed a few opportunities and her opponent then got through her guard which was enough to take the bout. A great performance from Poppy though showing real progression in the still new 14-15yrs division for her.
Archie was called next and with the biggest delay of the day (4hrs’ish) e took to the ring and showed a champions spirit. The first bout Archie won convincingly and this set him up nicely for the next couple of rounds confidence wise. Archie made the quarter finals and met the eventual finalist. His opponent was without doubt the most committed to his attacks in the division. There’s been times in the past that this would of intimidated Archie in all honesty but Archie was the first off the blocks and got him on his heals from the off! this in itself is a big step for Archie and one we are proud of him for! Unfortunately his opponent did nick a point and take senshu and this left Archie chasing and his opponent managed to use the ring well and defend his lead. After the delays and Archie’s spirit in the ring star of the day certainly goes to him! Well done Archie!
Lewis was last up and after his great display in kata was ready and rearing to go…
On the way over to his ring he stumped his toe and couldn’t move it and made movement and sitting in his stance very difficult as he couldn’t put his weigh ton the ball of his foot. Fair play, he still wanted to fight and give it a go but it wasn’t the Lewis we normally see and things didn’t go his way. Such an annoying injury but a very hampering one in the ring to be fair too. Unlucky Lewis.
So all, in the order of the day is going back to basics. Ensuring nutrition and hydration is properly executed throughout the day so that performance isn’t hampered if there are long delays (delays are normal, but 4hrs is a long time to children in all fairness). Mental spirit and fortitude is required and something always on show with the guys but without proper hydration and nutrition fatigue will set in and bad decisions can result. We could look to blame the delays but at the end of the day every competitor had those delays in each respective division. Those who dealt with it best got the best results. Excusitis is rife out there and by ensuring you control what’s within your power to control (yourself being the biggest of those things) and not looking to external factors that you have no control over you can maximise your performance and ultimately your results. A good lesson learnt the hard way for some but a good lesson all the same.
Getting back to the swing of things properly for 2018 we attended the Yorkshire Open. Our team Captain (Poppy) wasn’t with us this time (that’s got to be a first!) as she was away with the school Skiing in Austria. However we had a few FaceTime calls with her during the day… we think she secretly missed us ;-) although she looked like she was having a great time there.
George was first up for kata and as per smashed it! He took gold with his best Suparenpai to date in the final! Lewis was yup next and this was the first time he had competed in the 14-15yr old division after his birthday in January. With a bye in the first round this gave Lewis the chance to see his opponent perform and he knew he had to bring his A’ game. Up against one of the strongest in the division (and the eventual division winner) Lewis decided to perform Gankaku. With pose and focus he attacked the kata. Absolutely nailing all the difficult sections of the kata you would expect all flags to go to Lewis… however a wobble on one of the simpler moves meant his opponent got 2 of the 3 flags and progressed. A good lesson in not forgetting the basic aspects of a kata, all be-it not how you would like the lesson to be acquired.
George was up first again for the Kumite. We had the luxury of seeing his opponent fight in a different division before facing George and noticed how close he liked to get before launching his attack. So coach Pete said to George to remain cool, hold your ground and let him cross the line and as soon as he does launch that front hand out instantly… BOOM Georges first point of the day was a distancing and timing masterclass! He executed it to perfection and left his opponent in shock! The rest of Georges day went exactly to plan to. Coach Pete explained how far George has come in his Kumite and he is really starting to relax and use all the energy he has in the right way.
“This time last year George was quite erratic and wasted lots of energy in the ring through sheer enthusiasm… today he looked cool, collected, smarter and in charge of each bout. We are very proud of his progress!” said Coach Pete
An in form George went on to win the gold, his first in Kumite J well done George!
Next up was Heidi. She was on fire too! Heidi has really found her groove lately and is gaining in confidence every time she competes. New techniques are being used and when opportunities arise more and more are being capitalised on… it’s that confidence to attack and all our ‘triggering’ training has really paid off for her. Every event there is less and less hesitation and more and more oomph in everything she does! It was great to see her make the final and to see her opponent really up her game for the bout too. Tt was an excellent match but in the final seconds Heidi (who was leading at the time) didn’t even see her opponents kick come… it was a very good kick and the ippon was rightly awarded. As gutting as that was for her we hope she was very proud of what was an excellent day for her and a very well deserved silver medal. Well done Heidi!
Archie’s division was called next and after a long wait (last bout in the second round after a bye in the first) Archie stepped up and was clearly in the zone. After a lighting fast gyaku tsuki he took senshu before going on to score two excellent wazari’s. At 5-0 Archie was cruising on the scoreboard and only needed 1 more point for the bout to be stopped early. However the bout itself was actually quite different to how it sounded in the previous description. Archie’s opponent was an ‘aggressive’ fighter which in itself is fine, we all need to learn to deal with that type of opponent but unfortunately this opponent had little to no control and only got worse throughout the match as he became more and more emotionally charged after each point Archie scored. We was very proud with the way Archie stood up and hit back where it hurt (on the score board) and didn’t get drawn into a ‘scrap’. The very disappointing thing though was that after 3 warnings Archie’s opponent made heavy contact yet again and the medics ruled that Archie was unable to continue even though there was only 6seconds left on the clock and Archie really wanted to continue. If the medics had only allowed Archie to continue the other lad would have had his final warning and been disqualified. We would like to thank all the other parents ringside who asked how Archie was after the match and complemented his bout, while he was sore after those comments certainly helped and we think the biggest disappointment was being unable to carry on. We would also like to thank the event organiser Paul who dealt with the situation excellently, he also spoke to Archie and expressed disappointment he wasn’t allowed to continue but also explained how he has to trust his medics and cant overrule them.
Unlucky this time Archie, you’ll get ‘em next time ;-)
Last on for Kumite was Lewis, this was his first time in a new age division for him and it was the land of the giants. After what was a very successful year for Lewis last year (national medals and even a world title) the challenge of facing opponents with a much longer reach was something that proved difficult for Lewis and something we need to work on with him from a tactical perspective a little more.
Lewis’ first round was very impressive. His movement in the ring was sublime before springing out a excellently timed, deep gyaku tsuki which earned Lewis a yuko and senshu. That was enough to take Lewis into the second round where he faced an opponent with at about a 10” reach advantage on him… Lewis did an excellent job of making it very difficult for his opponent to score on him but in hesitating to launch an attack a few times his opponent did manage to score meaning Lewis didn’t progress to the 3rd round this time. We have absolute confidence though that with some more tactical training Lewis will be back on the podium in no time in this new age category. Well done Lewis, you still performed like a pro.
Overall we had a great day. This event was very much about trying new things and development rather than results but it was great to see that development produce some results too. We came back with 3 medals (2 gold and a silver) from 4 competitors and extremely proud of all our athletes for many reasons.
At the weekend the EKF held its Kyu Grade National Championship. This is the most prestigious event to karate-ka pre-black belt. 4 of our team was there representing our association CIKA England. 3 doing both kata and Kumite (Lewis, Heidi and George), with Archie just doing Kumite.
With over 52 associations being represented and 1000plus competitors it was certainly a big event. CIKA England only had our 4 guys there this year doing 7 events (set to grow massively this year with the introduction of new squad structures) but we still finished 26th in the medal table which we believe is fantastic considering the average entrants from associations this year was 20+.
The kata was a mixed bag as you would expect from a Kyu Grade Championship. There are some competitors there with plenty of experience on the brink of breaking through into the opens and there are others just starting out and there for the experience as much as anything else. With that being said its inspiring watching both the excellent exponents and the newer students who have that fresh enthusiasm and showing us the potential of tomorrows English competitors.
All 3 of our athletes did very well indeed. Lewis made the quarter finals and Heidi made her pools semi-final. George however went all the way! His match of the day was most certainly the pool final before going onto the division final. That cool, calm George came out and he performed the kata of his life (Suparinpei) before going on to the final to take Gold. Big congratulations George.
The Kumite was as exciting as always. Lewis struggled after being the first kata division up of the day and then the last Kumite division of the day. Being slightly under the weather and the long delay in-between (8hrs or so) took its toll on him and while you could clearly see his talent in the ring he just wasn’t as sharp as normal and didn’t progress as expected. George did really well to but it just wasn’t his day in the Kumite this time. Archie was very aggressive and pressed really well in the ring but fell prey to mirror judging as he got a few points in that due to angles the judges just wouldn’t of seen. That’s always disappointing but from a performance perspective there was many positives to focus on.
Heidi was outstanding though! She knew when to press and when to move. Her front hand was unstoppable on the day! She made it all the way to the pool final and was leading 2-0 after 2 great Yukos. Unfortunately with less than 10secs to go her opponent pulled out a great hook kick and was awarded an ippon. With belief Heidi pressed for that 1 point she needed to make it through to the division final but the clock ran down to fast. A very well deserved bronze medal indeed.
The day itself was very long and it is of testament to all in attendance for the outstanding karate still on display as late as it was. Well done to all for the fantastic attitudes and spirit you brought, we are very proud of you.
We would also like to thank the parents for their support once again. You are all just as much a part of the team as the athletes and we don’t know what we would do without you! Especially all the words of encouragement from Dawn… ;-)
During January we are offering a FREE month of training and a FREE karate uniform to new students who enroll during the trial period.
Please see below flyer for further information:
Grading’s are always proud moments but as students’ progress up the ladder and you expect more and more of them (and they deliver…) they do become special moments, both for student an sensei alike.
On Sunday 3 students graded to 1st kyu, 1 to 4th kyu and all were tested on a number of aspects from our syllabus from kihon and foundational understanding to higher grade kata, advanced combinations and tactical application/s.
We are very proud to present our new 1st kyu’s:
And our new 4th kyu:
Our beginners class has grown nicely over the last few months and at this grading we had 12 juniors in attendance. The session was very well received with a number of techniques from the syllabus chosen at random to test the students on.
All students demonstrated a vast improvement in discipline and coordination as well as a good understanding of the basic aspects of the technical requirements required for the grades attempted. We are very proud of everyone!
A big well done to the following students for achieving their 9th Kyu’s:
A big well done to the following students for achieving their 8th Kyu’s:
Special congratulations also go out to the following students:
For Overall Ability - Emily
For Excellent Round Kicks - Orpheus
For Excellent Front Kicks - Esme
Last weekend we traveled to Madrid for the CIKA World Championships. It was extremely memorable, below is an overview of events
Lewis Hunt – CIKA World Kumite Champion & Kata Bronze Medallist
Kata was up first as normal and after a long wait and numerous delays Lewis took to the ring and performed a wonderful Empi in his first round. After receiving all the flags Lewis progressed to the 2nd round and then the 3rd round. Unfortunately in the 3rd round Lewis didn’t get the decision but then after battling through the reportage he managed to bag the Bronze medal an make the podium, performing Unsu in the Reportage Final. Well done Lewis.
Ok… now then… WOW!
Yes, Lewis is now World Champion! What a fantastic achievement!
Lewis really looked great on the day. Cool, confident and in control. His Kumite was on point and the bout of the day was most certainly his semi-final. With Lewis down by 3 points he hear the call from coach Pete to go off the line and boy did he! He buried a punch deep into his opponent and completely got inside his head… from that point on the bout was his and point after point just came and Lewis took his place in the final later that day.
Again looking cool and collected in the final there was no signs of panicking as the clock ticked down and it was still 0-0. And then BOOM, a perfectly timed hook kick and “Ippon!” Lewis then held his lead and won the final 3-0 to become CIKA World Champion 2017.
Massive congratulations Lewis.
Archie Brown – CIKA World Championships 5th Place in Kumite
Archie narrowly missed out on the bronze medal in the reportage final after a few fantastic performances. You could tell Archie was feeling confident and ready to go because he took himself off and started slowly warming up hours before his event. By the time he got in the ring he was pumped and ready to give his all. Narrowly missing out to the Spanish National Champion, Archie pushed him to the wire and gave a great account of himself and did us very proud. After their bout the Spanish Champion and his coach came over and asked where he was from and started talking and saying it was the toughest fight of the day for his athlete and complemented Archie massively. Well done Archie, you brought you’re A’game and gave the performances of your life!
George Malone – CIKA World Championships 7th Place in Kumite
After what was a disappointing decision in kata (Georges normal strength) he took to the ring with a level of confidence not before seen. Something just clicked for George and he was without a doubt the best he has ever been in the ring. Everyone, including George was really proud and happy with George’s performances… I don’t think we’ve ever seen a smile so big from him to be honest! Well done George.
Poppy Stanton, Heidi Stanton & Gee Hallacy
Poppy, Heidi and Gee all gave valiant performances and gave fantastic accounts of themselves and did us and CIKA England proud. Unfortunately they didn’t place in their events but they should all take great solitude in their performances even though results didn’t come this time. Poppy’s fighting spirit, Heidi’s overall performance in the first round (she destroyed her opponent in the first round!) and Gee’s determination shows us that while that was not their day for results they will come, of this we are very confident. Well done girls you should all be proud of yourselves.
Once again many congratulations to all and we just want to reiterate how proud we are of each of our athletes representing their country and themselves. Everyone left that day with massive smiles and in great spirits, that in itself is worth all the efforts. To step out of the competition arena knowing you gave your all, and brought your best brings a level of satisfaction that is different from a win. Win or lose if you can walk out of the arena with this pride in yourself you know you have had a great day!
While we went away for the CIKA World Championships the opportunity to spend time together as a team and with our fellow CIKA England athlete’s is always a recipe for good times. From celebrating and eating out together to time at the park in the sun playing football/catch/chin up challenges together… the weekend of these championships is one that won’t be forgotten.
We also want to say thank you to all the parents for both putting in the time for the students to get to training during preparations and then actually making the trip to Madrid, we hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as the competitors.
We would like to congratulate our chief instructor Pete Watson Sensei for being appointed CIKA England Kumite Coach yesterday.
“Under Jason Netherton Sensei and alongside kata coach Rob Bingham Sensei we have big plans for the CIKA England Squad and 2018 will see their initiation. We have lots of potential and being involved in helping our students realise that is truly an honour”
On a personal note, Pete Watson Sensei was also awarded his Sandan (3rd Dan), his CIKA World Instructors Certificate and our Liverpool Karate Academy Certificate of affiliation to CIKA International. All by CIKA Head Instructor Junior Lefevre Sensei.
“Junior Lefevre Sensei is a living legend of karate. He was a hero of mine before I met him and after meeting him even more so. His ability and understanding is second to none and his humbleness alongside that is exactly in line with the type of karate-ka I endeavour to be. To receive my grading from him and also be able to call him my sensei is a privilege. OSS sensei!”