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!”
On Sunday 17th September we hosted a seminar with Rob Bingham Sensei, CIKA England Kata Coach.
We managed to get Rob Bingham Sensei down for a full day to learn as much as possible from him so we could add that into our current training.
We did 4 separate sessions:
The first session was about 2 main things, explosive transitions and hip actions as Sensei shared a few excellent drills with us that we will certainly build on over the coming months. The day then developed from there as the key points from the mornings session where honed while drilling specific kata.
Everyone had a great day and even the more Kumite minded karate-ka amongst those at the seminar left with a fresh enthusiasm for kata. Rob Bingham Sensei’s love and passion for it is clear to see in his coaching and for anyone that gets the opportunity to train with him we would certainly suggest you jump at the chance.
On Sunday we attended the Wado UK Open. Again this was a well-timed event for us with our preparations for the CIKA Worlds next month.
Our kata athletes are really on a roll at the moment with both excellent performances and some great results to show for them. The stand out performer of the day for us from a kata perspective would be Heidi, one of our junior lower grades, who performed 2 new kata and made it through a number of rounds. Unfortunately just finishing outside of the medals but we hope she takes great confidence from progressing as far as she did.
Everyone gave great performances in Kumite again and results came this time too which is important before heading off to the Worlds. The one big lesson of the day was judge management with there only being 2 seated judges. Poppy and Lewis (2 of our more experienced athletes) both fell prey to scoring great points but at a position in the ring where the judges just couldn’t see those points… and at the end of the day if the judges can’t see what you’re doing then you won’t receive any points for it. While some may have been discouraged by this and got different coloured medals than perhaps they could of, this is a valuable lesson and one best learnt at events such as this.
As a squad we came away with 6medals (1 Gold, 3 Silver, 2 Bronze) from 7 athletes. Many congratulations to all!
Coach Pete also wanted to add how proud he was of the way the whole team conducted themselves and supported each other when their teammates where in the ring.
“We have a great bond as a team, one that always makes me proud”
Pete Watson, Coach.
In our run up to the CIKA World Championships in October, 6 of our athletes attended the North East Open on Sunday to get some additional ringtime.
Our kata athletes shone in the morning with all but one medalling (only loosing out to the eventual division winner). We even had two competitors in the same division with both of them making the final, taking the gold and silver in their divison (12 - 13yrs male kata).
The kumite however was a bit of a contrast to the kata, with all bar one leaving without placing.
Days like this not only build character but reveal it and we are proud to say that another coach came over to our coach, Pete, and said how our guys had got the rough end of the deal today with decisions and that each member of the team dealt with the disappointment in an exemplary fashion and that they were a credit to themselves and our club.
We can honestly say we are always very proud of our team and how they conduct themselves but hearing it from someone else was very much appreciated.
That being said, we left with 5medals (2 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze) from a team of 6… not bad for bad day to be fair ;-)
A big well done to all.