Day 2 of the competition was a kata day. With only Elijah and Frank in the team that hadn’t competed the day before they were eager but noticeably more anxious than those that had already tested out the tatamis.
Prior to the kata action we had the lovely experience of the opening ceremony, despite being interrupted by a fire alarm and full scale evacuation of everyone in the convention centre. Once everything was declared safe we proceeded to gather for the opening ceremony.
With an estimate 500 America Amateur Union (AAU) competitors in the waiting hall, it was loud, especially when America and Mexico had a chanting match!
Our team were front of the England contingent with Frank and Reda carrying the England banner for all England representatives.
After the noisy but energising opening ceremony with a full kobudo and taiko (Japanese drum performance), Frank, our youngest competitor was up first.
Frank, having only just turned 7 three weeks ago in the 8years and under category was by far the smallest competitor. He might be the smallest, but he approached the competition, And his performance with such confidence and professionalism, it was incredible to remember he’s only just 7. Frank made it through round 1 smoothly and went on to perform an excellent 2nd round of kata, with lovely strong stances and loud kias.
In the end Frank achieved a bronze medal against some very very tough competition.
Following Frank was Ariz with his division. 13yrs Other styles kata. Round one Ariz scored the highest score and did the same in the top 6 final round, making him Individual Kata World Champion! The focus and determination shown by Ariz this competition has been something special to watch! Tomorrow Kumite.
Layjha competed in the 14-15 yrs Shitoryu category. Performing the best supereimpai we’ve seen from her she did excellently, however this was just not enough to get her into the top 12. She’s made huge improvements to her kata over the last 6 months and we’ve no doubt the best is yet to come from Layjha.
Narjis competed in the Other Styles division. She walked into the mat the most confident we’ve seen and performed the best Bassai Dai she’s ever done. In the final round she performed Kosokun-shio earning her a fantastic bronze medal.
Elijah then followed his sister. Elijah was very focused and determined when he walked onto the mat, hungry to do well. In round 1 he performed a great Pinan Yondan earning him a spot in the last 6. He then performed a great Bassai Dai scoring well, but unfortunately leaving him just outside the medals with a very respectable 4th place at his first world championships.
The boys 12 years all styles category was the biggest of the day, and of an excellent standard. All three of our boys, Adel, Reda and Alex made it through round 1, Adel performed a strong kata round 3 but unfortunately didn’t progress passed round 2. Alex and Reda both performed strong Pinan Yondans to get them through to the top 12. An unfortunate stumble in at the end of Redas kata unfortunately saw him missing out on the top 6 round but Alex through.
Alex performed a great Shiokosokun in the final, getting great height on the jump, but had a little wobble on the landing. Alex finished 5th with South Africa, Romania and England taking the top three spots.
A great result for all three boys in their first ever world championships in a world class category.
So another great day all round with laughter, cheering and tears of joy and disappointment.
As a coach it’s fantastic to see all the athletes progress and be so up for it and determined to win.