On Saturday 15th November, Chelmsford Shotokan Karate Club sent four of our members to the 31st KUGB National Students Championship in Chesterfield bringing home three Team and four Individual Medals. The small team of four competitors were well supported by both family and friends plus Coaches Jane and Richard Naylor-Jones.
Photo: Count the Medals!
(L-R) Alasdair Ward, Rachel Cohen, Sensei Richard Naylor-Jones, Teah Pope and Eric Austin-Coskry
The first event of the day was the Male Kyu Grade Kata. Alasdair Ward was competing at this level for the first time and performed very well in the eliminations to reach the final. Teah Pope, also new to this Competition, performed well in the Female Black Belt Kata eliminations to book her place in the final.
Teah and her team mate Rachel Cohen then entered the Female Black Belt Kumite and both fought strongly to get through to the semi finals.
In both the Male and Female Team Kumite Events, even though they had only two competitors for each category, Chelmsford showed a spirited and determined attitude to enter. With a full team consisting usually of three people, both of our teams had the disadvantage of being one score down before the match started. Despite this, there were some committed and excellent fighting performances from both our Teams as they battled against the odds. With the result that both Teams gained Bronze medals.
In the Mixed Team Kata, the final elimination event, this 'new team', performing for the first time together at a competition, produced an outstanding display of Kata - Heian Nidan to qualify for the final.
Then came the finals, with the first event being the Male Kyu Grade Kata. Alasdair Ward took third place with a strong performance of Kata Bassai Dai.
Next in the Female Black Belt Kata, Teah Pope came third with an excellent performance of Kata Nijushiho narrowly beaten by two International competitors. This was then followed by the Female Black Belt Kumite. In a strong category that included the current Junior World Champion, Teah and Rachel fought well in their individual bouts and both came Joint Third.
In the Mixed Team Kata Final Eric, Rachel and Teah performed a sharp, powerful and well timed Kata - Bassai Dai to come third. Well done!
Sensei Richard Naylor-Jones said that he was very pleased with both the individual and team performances on the day. The standard of karate at these British National Championships are extremely high so with all four students coming home with at least two medals each means that the future is looking very bright.
Well done to everyone!