The Zetsurin Karate Club Kata and Kumite Competitions have been the highlights of years gone by, and this year’s Kata Competition on the 30th September did not disappoint.
We were really proud to have 12 students from Zetsurin Leeds sign up for the competition, a big difference to the 3 from the previous year – but then again, this time last year we had half the number of students we do now!
Putting yourself forward to compete in front of a room full of strangers can be a daunting task. If you’ve never had the pleasure (it is actually fun) of entering a competition, imagine having to stand up and deliver a speech to a room full of people, now imagine having to deliver that speech at the age of 6 or 7! It can be a scary and nerve-racking experience. Whilst it gets less scary over time the physiological response of nerves never seems to go away – well at least it still hasn’t for me, I guess you just start to enjoy it!
So, it may be a cliched thing to say that ‘everyone did well to just get up on the mat’, but this is so true, particularly in terms of kata, where it’s often an individual performance, with everyone else's eyes on you and you only.
Naturally there were a few wobbles, moments of hesitation and a few new moves added to katas, but everyone that entered coped well with the pressure and gave some of the best performances that we have seen of them. These club competitions are meant to provide the opportunity to learn and improve, and we hope that everyone took away something (other than a medal or trophy) from the day to help them improve going forwards.
Another highlight of the day was the Sensei vs Student Kata Challenge for the coveted ‘massive trophy’ and of course bragging rights! With the Student team having won the trophy last year in it's inaugural year, the Senseis were out for revenge! The premise of this category is to provide some friendly competition between students and instructors. The students may perform any prepared kata of their choice, whereas the Sensei’s must perform a mystery kata (1 of 13 potential katas) with immediate notice!! - Talk about nerves!
Each team member from the student team performed their chosen katas excellently, leaving the Sensei team rather worried and very nervous each dreading hearing the name of a kata they didn’t want to perform. After some very nervous moments and few near misses, the Sensei’s were named 2018 Champions!! – Phew !
A special congratulations to Emily who performed very well on the day winning her category and ultimately the floating Junior Kata Shield and to her classmate Ava who performed the best katas we’ve seen of her in an attempt to win the shield herself, after placing 1st in the 6yrs and under division!
Well done again to all students that firstly put in the hard work needed to enter a competition and who then stood up on the mat and gave it their all.
Thank you to Sensei’s Ruth and Paul for all the effort (and there’s more than meets the eye), put in to what was a superbly well-run event and very much enjoyed by all.
If you would like to see more of the photos (over 100) taken on the day you can see these on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ZetsurinLeeds/photos/