SKA Kumite Competition Sunday 10th April 2011

Sunday 10th April saw the Khalsa Champions squad attend this friendly and well organized competition in leafy Croydon,Surrey.
The squad had attended the first ever tournament held by SKA back in November of last year and enjoyed it so much that they decided to attend once again. At Khalsa we strongly believe in supporting our local associations and clubs and for our squad it had a real benefit of being only 30 minutes away by car, instead of the lengthy journey times we have all become accustomed to.

We took 10 squad members in total ranging from 7 to 17 years. First up on the day was Alexandra James who at 8yrs old was our youngest squad member. Alexandra was in the 7-9 years Mixed category Novice to 5th Kyu minus 25kg and has proved to be a very consistent fighter of late and today was no exception. Her impressive scores of 11-3,8-0 took her through easily to the semi-finals where herself and her opponent ended up with a 4-4 score. This resulted in extra time where she managed to earn 2 vital points to see her through to the all important final. Again Alexandra showed her class and won with a huge margin of 9-0. Congratulations Alexandra on earning Khalsa their first Gold of the day.

We then had Katie Lancaster who competed in the 10-13 year Girls Novice to 5th Kyu plus 35kg category. Katie was on form as well today and and despite having only two rounds to reach the final, she finished in style with a 9-0 win to take the second Gold of the day. Well done Katie!

It was then the turn of Junior Williams who was in the 7-9 year old Mixed category Novice to 5th Kyu plus 25kg. With a very close first round of a 6-5 win, he knew he had to work that extra bit harder if he was going to progress through the next few rounds. Junior managed to do this and after a clear 7-2 win in the next round, he made it to the semi- finals where he won 4-2. In the final he just couldn't match his opponents techniques and speed and lost with a respectable 4-2 score. This earned him a well deserved Silver, great job Junior!
Sophie Santillo was also competing today and had decided to try her hand at entering 3 categories today. This was a wise move as the older girls categories were clearly undersubscribed. In her first group she only had one other opponent in the Girls 14-15 years minus 54 kg 4th Kyu to Dan grade section. She earned good scores of 9-4 and 8-7 to scoop the Gold. She also entered the same category again but with a higher weight of plus 54kg, again few competitors but in all three rounds fantastic scores of 8-0, 19-15 and in the final 10-2. Well done Sophie another Gold for you!

Sophie had one category to go and with hopes of another medal in her sights she entered the Girls 16-17 open Weight category. However, try as she might, it wasn't to be and Sophie bowed out in the first round with a 9-3 defeat. But Sophie still got a Bronze for her efforts! Congratulations on your wins Sophie!

We then had twin brothers Cuba and Bleu Parris who both competed in the Boys 10-13 year category but in different weights. Cuba in the minus 40kg and Bleu in the plus 40kg. Cuba swept through his first two rounds without conceding a point and gained scores of 6-0 and then 9-0. He proved to be no different in the semi final where again he won with a clear 8-0 margin. In the final Cuba encountered a very close call in this fight and unfortunately had to settle for a Silver on this occasion with a very close 7-6 loss. Well done Cuba your continued perseverance and ability always sees you through.

Bleu, also like his twin Cuba, had an amazing first two rounds with scores of 8-0 and 5-0 but just like his brother and by only one point as well lost in the final with a close 1-0 win to a newly selected England A squad member. Another Silver for the squad and some great fights as well, fantastic!

In the same category as fellow team mate Bleu Parris was Adam Bahji. Adam fought exceptionally well today and gave his opponent a hard fight ending the scores even with a 9-9 draw. As per the rules it went to extra time and unfortunately for Adam his opponent managed to score three vital points leaving Adam exiting early in his first round. Well done Adam your fighting has definitely improved!
Our last individual competitor of the day was Patrick McDonaugh who competed in the Boys 16-17 year Open Weight category. Patrick made an immediate impact in his first round with an amazing score of 14-8. Again due to the lack of competitors Patrick was already in the final but lost out with a respectable score of 6-9. Patrick gained a well deserved Silver medal for his efforts.
As the day was drawing to a close it ended with the Team events. Khalsa Champions entered one team in the Boys 10-13 year Open Weight Team. The team consisted of Bleu Parris, Cuba Parris and Adam Bahji. They faced four teams in this section and they were made up of the majority of the opponents they had faced in their individual categories. The boys went all out to prove a point that they were not going to rest on their laurels after their individual performances and after some large margins with points Khalsa Champions team were again victorious to claim the Gold medal.

It was a very successful day for the squad and everyone performed to the best of their ability on the mats. They etiquette and decorum was admirable and we at Khalsa Champions are all very proud. We would like to extend a huge thank you to Andrew Michaelides of SKA for his continued hospitality and organization of this competition and a very big thanks once again to Coach Paul Abel for his continued commitment and hard work with the squad. Well done to all who participated.

Sensei Sat commented "My thanks again goes to the Junior and A squad members who continually strive to succeed. Their dedication and hard work is showing with fantastic results again. Huge thanks to Coach Paul Abel and the team!!! Keep it up"

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