Western Karate Union Championships November 2011

10 Competitors 5 Gold, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze.

On Sunday, 27th November, Khalsa Champions travelled to Weston Super Mare to compete in the Western Karate Union Championships. The tournament was well organized and well attended.

This was Khalsa’s first opportunity to put together a large travelling squad for quite a few tournaments. In attendance were Sophie Santillo, Francesca Hardcastle, Noah Allen, Thomas and Josh Dugdale, Alex James, Natarliya James, Luca James, Kiyarne James-David and Kira James-David.

To kick things off, five of our young competitors entered the Shobu Jukuren, which is a showcase of fighting skills against a static target. Ki and Luca were in the 5-7 group. This was Ki’s very first tournament experience, and whilst showing great enthusiasm, he unfortunately lost his first bout 0-3. Luca then showed his usual tenacity and cruised through to the semi-final with scores of 3-0 and 2-1. Unfortunately Luca lost out at this stage 0-3, but did enough to pick up our first medal of the day, a bronze. Well done Luca, there was to be more success for Luca later in the day.

Noah, Alex and Kira then competed in the 8-10 year old Shobu Jukuren. Kira is in her first few tournaments as well and unfortunately lost her first round 0-3. Kira had something special in store for us all later though! Noah and Alex then battled through the ranks with Alex going out in the semi-final 0-3, after picking up 3-0 and 3-0 wins in the first two rounds. At the same time, Noah was flying through the rounds with a whirlwind of techniques, winning 3-0, 3-0, 2-1 and 2-1 in the final. Nice gold Noah and bronze Alex.

Josh and Luca were up first in the Kumite, drawn into the same group. The two boys did very well, with Luca toughing it out with 4-3 and 4-3 wins to head into the finals. Meanwhile, Josh had a bye into the semi’s and was on-tune with a 5-1 win to meet Luca in the final. Although Luca was the smallest in the group, he showed amazing toughness to push Josh into an overtime period with a 2-2 score. Josh stepped it up in extra time and won 4-0 for the gold, with Luca picking up silver. Amazing fighting, and very nice to get a 1-2 in that category.

Noah, Kira and Alex were up next in the Kumite. Noah was very sharp indeed. We had some interesting scoring after showing some controlled kicks and gyaks. Noah was sent packing in a very unsatisfying 0-4 loss. Over on the girls side, Alex and Kira were putting their stamp on their category. Kira winning 1-0 and 6-0 to head into the final. Alex, in the other half of the draw was in dominating form, winning 7-0 and 8-0. The two Khalsa students then fought it out for the Gold and Silver, with Alex showing her superior experience by winning out 7-1. Well done both of you two, you owned that category.

Tom and Natarliya now got into the action. Natarliya fighting in a group of older, and often bigger, fighters. Points were hard to come by, but Natarliya started off in the second round with a 2-1 win and followed that up with a tough 1-0 win for the gold. Over in the boys, Tom was in probably the toughest group of all the juniors. There were some very experienced fighters. Tom won his first round 2-1 (his first win in this older age category). Tom then had a very tough fight in the second round that could have gone either way. Today it was a 0-2 loss; next time it could be the other way. Well done you two, the medals keep coming!

Fran was the last junior of the day and she also had a tough group of fighters, again fighting as one of the youngest in her category. Fran had a nice win in her first round 2-0, but lost out 0-3 in the semi-final. This one really could have gone either way as well, but we are proud of Fran and the bronze.

Last but not least was Sophie fighting in the 16-17 year olds. Sophie’s category was one of the strongest groups of fighters that she has faced at a local competition. Sophie dominated her first fight with a 6-0 win. In her second fight, she was tested and toughed out a 5-4 win. In the semi-final, Sophie took on another England fighter and was very strong in a 6-4 victory to head to the final. This one was a cagey affair between two very good and tired fighters and would go to extra-time after a 2-2 draw. Neither fighter could find the scoring technique in extra time, so the judges decided this one in Sophie’s favour. Well done on your gold Sophie!

Sensei Sat commented “All the hard work from the squad is paying off. The results are consistent not just in the smaller comps but also the seasoned larger comps and today’s result was no exception. I would like to thank all the squad for sticking closely and achieving today’s results!!! Well done. To coaches Chris, Debbie and Sophie for all there hard work on organizing and ensuring today went as smooth as ever!! A very proud club and Sensei!! Well done and keep up the good work!!!

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