Toyakwai Karate Association Selections October, 2012

4 Fighters – 3 Selected, 1 Alternate

On Sunday, 21st of October, Khalsa Champions travelled to Colchester to train and participate in Toyakwai Squad selections.

Sensei Sat was at the club with a pre-scheduled grading for students, so we took to the road without him today. Participating in the selections were Sophie Santillo, Francesca Hardcastle, Alexandra James and Noah Allen. The day started with fitness, stretching and techniques. The group were eased into some light sparring prior to the actual selection sparring.

When selections got started, Noah was up first. Boys being boys, Noah had quite a bit of competition to get through. With his category being under 15’s, he did have to face some older competitors. Noah held his own through three fights and was asked to have one final fight to determine the second selection for his category. The fight was cagey and Noah held his own against a bigger competitor, but lost to a single point scored on an exchange of gyaks. Noah is now the first alternate in the under 15s, under 4’10”. Well done Noah.

Next up was Alex and her only competitor was a fighter whom we know and have great respect for. Alex was asked to fight the competitor twice, winning both times. The fights were close and the judges were undecided, so requested one final fight off. The two fighters exchanged points and ended with a 3-3 draw. After deliberations, the judges chose Alex for the team. Alex is the first selection for the under 15s, under 4’10”. Well done Alex!

Fran was next up with a round robin group of three fighters. Fran was probably the older and bigger fighter in the first fight (not something she’s used to!). Fran won her first fight comfortably, showing great experience and speed. In Fran’s next fight, she drew a fighter with a size advantage. Fran used her speed and experience, and once again had a comfortable win and drew unanimous praise in being selected for the squad. Fran has been asked to fill the position of the ‘over’ fighters to accommodate the team. Good fighting Fran.

Sophie came along for the experience as she is only eligible for the individual selection (which she has already secured). In Sophie’s only fight she was paired with a top association male fighter of her age. Sophie showed some great quickness and took the first point. The fight was fairly tactical from that point (with Sophie performing a kuala bear hug at one point to avoid being swept). In the last second Sophie was cautioned for avoiding her opponent and the fight ended in a draw. Sophie holding her own against experienced male competition is something we are used to seeing.' Well done Sophie.

Sensei Sat commented “The day was a very busy one with grading’s back at the club and the squad training, in essex. The small squad of four always produce the quality and dedication expected from them, and this showed with all four being selected. My congrats goes to the team, and parents who continue to push and support the club!!!”

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