Updated: Feb 14, 2019
This past Sunday saw our second (of many) tournaments this year, done and dusted. Our squad of 15 attended the Yorkshire Open in Barnsley.
In the squad this competition, we had 3 new comers to external competition, Reda, Adel and Aadil and also included 3 senior entries in Sensei Jack (Zetsurin Otley), Kieron and Kylie.
With over 800 entries (and that’s with the organisers closing entries a few days before the deadline) it was always going to be a tough and long day. The standard of the competition this year was exceptional and many categories had over 20-30 competitors.
This competition it wasn't just the medals competitors were competing for but also Yorkshire Open Teddies, for all individual gold winners! I was told that the teddy was more coveted than the gold medal by some competitors!
The boys 8-9 lower grade categories were the biggest of the day with 36 entries in the kata category and 30 in the kumite category. The organisers took a very good decision to split the categories into two, increasing everyone’s chances at a medal. This was a good decision for this age group and belt group, which contained many 1st time competitors. We had 6 of our own competitors in those two categories.
The day kicked off with pairs and team katas, we’d entered 1 pair in the 16yrs+ division and and another in the girls 10-12yrs Pairs (Layjah and Narjis). Layjah and Narjis, have improved their pairs kata immensely recently, but were unfortunate on the day to not make it through the 1st round, with a few slip ups most likely from nerves.
Following the pairs was the boys 8-9 Lower Grade Kata, first up on the mat that day was Alex, who performed one of his best performances of Pinan nidan we’ve seen, but was unfortunate to draw the eventual winner of the category in his first round! We have no doubt that he would have progressed at least a few rounds if it wasn’t for the unlucky draw.
He was shortly followed by Daniel who progressed through round one easily with a 3-0 score. Daniel then did another excellent kata in round two and in our opinion was robbed, loosing 2-1 to a below average opponent! Unfortunately, that’s how it goes sometimes in competitions.
Victor, Elijah, Reda and Adel all performed some of the best performances of their katas and were unlucky in many cases no to progress through further. This being said the improvement that these boys have all made to their katas of late is exceptional, well done!
Emily and Layjah were in the same kata category, girls 10-12 Lower Grade kata. This being a big jump for Emily having only just turned 10 a few days before. Emily performed an excellent Pinan Godan, nailing the jump and landing to win 3-0 in round one. Layjah then performed an excellent Pinan Yondan also winning 3-0. In the second round, Emily performed well again, but was unfortunate to loose 3-0 to the eventual category winner. Layjah won her second round convincingly again 3-0 progressing to the quarterfinals, where she narrowly missed out on a place in the semi finals 2-1! Well done girls!
The toughest divisions of the junior categories were the 10-12 Boys and Girls senior grade categories. Here the majority of the competitors have been competing at a high level for many years already and are very polished. Narjis and Marion by contrast are late coming to competition, but have come along in leaps and bounds over the last year. Both of which are now able to add good snap and power to their katas. More mat time and training will see these two challenging for medals in the near future!
The Senior grade Open male and female divisions were very large and of a very high standard. Many of the entries in both the female and male divisions are / have been England squad members and competed internationally for their respective associations. The ladies division had over 26 entries and the men’s division 20 entries. Sensei Kieron progressed to the 3rd round with a bye in his first, then winning round two before facing off against England Squad member and eventual winner. Sensei Jack performed a very strong Seipai, but unfortunately didn’t progress. Sensei Kylie finished the ladies division with a bronze medal.
Onto the kumite divisions we had a number of close bouts, with at least three going to Hantei (judges decision in the event of a 0-0 bout). Everyone’s movement has improved but coming up against a number of brilliant kickers, identified a clear weakness in dealing with these types of fighters. This is something we’ll be working on lots in the coming sessions.,
]Aadil in his first competition patiently waited until about 16:00 to step on to the mat for kumite. Facing off against an experienced competitors (judging by his England badge) Aadil, didn’t drop a point and the bout ended 0-0 resulting in a Hantei decision, going 1-2 to Aadil. With another spur of luck Aadil’s 2nd round opponent withdrew which saw him into the final against a very experienced fighter. However, Aadil held is own, but unfortunately lost the final 5-0 but taking home a silver at his very 1st competition. Well done Aadil.
For the first time we entered 4 team kumite divisions, 2 x Boys 8-9 and girls 10-12yrs and Boys 10-12 Years. These divisions are open grade so is particularly tough with our karateka being predominantly lower grades as they face far more experienced fighters. 8-9 Boys Team Contrevida were one man short and lost their 1st bout meaning they forfeit the rest of the bouts, as it would have automatically been 2-0 to the opposing team. The same also happened for the boys 10-12yrs. The girls fought a very sharp girls team from Dokan and lost their team bout 2-0. The 8-9yrs boys, Team (Daniel, Alex and Reda) team progressed well to make it to the semi finals and ended the division with a bronze medal (and massive smiles).
All in All the competition was an excellent experience. It’s great to see the squad supporting each other on and off the mat, enjoying their karate and having fun whilst doing it. Thank you to Kevin and Paul Royston for yet another superbly organised event!
Thank you to all the parents that came and supported the squad and for bringing them week after week to training. Without you none of this would be possible.
Tally for the day:
- 16yrs + Pairs Kata – Bronze
- Female High Grade Kata - Bronze
- Boys 13-14 yrs Low Grades Individual Kumite - Silver
- Boys 8-9yrs Team kumite - Bronze
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