On Saturday the 3rd May members of Chelmsford SKC went on Tour again, this time to the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, to compete at the KUGB’s prestigious 48th National Championships.
There were twenty-two members from Chelmsford competing plus Coach/KUGB Presenter - Sensei Jane Naylor-Jones, Assistant Coach - Sharky Austin-Coskry, Referee – Richard Naylor-Jones and a large group of family/friends cheering them on.
Photo: Some of Chelmsford SKC's Competitors
(L_R) Romilly Pope, Connor Payne, Ben Pickwick and Jamie Lottering
The eliminations started promptly at 10am and right from the start the standard of karate was extremely high on all twelve areas. Initially the individual Kata and Kumite events took place and then this was then followed by the team events. Each and every match was fiercely contested, with all of our students performing strongly in a competition of the highest standard.
Photo: Kumite Match - Eric Austin-Coskry (right) clashes with his opponent during the eliminations.
Photo: Heian Yondan! - Melvyn Tang (right) competing in the Kata.
Alexander Lockett and Mia Hillsden made it through to the Individual finals along with our Children’s Kata Team 'A'. Our remaining students all did the Club proud with their performances and many narrowly missed out places in the finals.
The finals opened with the National Anthem followed by a presentation of Sensei Sherry, the KUGB’s Chief Instructor and Chairman, and the members of the KUGB Technical Committee. Then Sensei Sherry then presented certificates to those long standing members who had reached 20, 30 and 40 years with the KUGB.
This year there was also a special presentation by Sensei Sherry who awarded the grade of 8th Dan to both Sensei Bob Rhodes and Sensei Billy Higgins. These Grades recognize their technical expertise and dedication to Karate and the KUGB. Both are very active in the KUGB and many of our students have trained with these two Karate Masters over the years, some as recently as at the Spring Karate Course in April.
With these ceremonies complete the Final matches began with the Children’s Kumite and Kata events. In the Children’s Ippon Kumite Event Alex Lockett had fought strong all day to reach the final. Alex continued to excel and won Gold with some excellent attacks, blocks and counters to his opponent.
Photo: Childrens Ippon Kumite winner - Alexander Lockett - (Trophy Presented by Sensei Richard Poole)
In the Girls Kumite (10-11 years) Mia Hillsden had competed earlier in the day and shown excellent timing to gain a Bronze medal.
Photo: Girls 10-11 Kumite - Mia Hillsden - (Far right) - (Trophy Presented by Sensei Richard Poole)
In the Children’s Black Belt Kata the standard was extremely high and Mia Hillsden took Bronze with an excellent performance of kata Gojoshiho Sho.
Photo: Children's Black Belt Kata - Mia Hillsden (second from right). (Trophy presented by Sensei Colin Schubert)
Later came the Children’s Team Kata, with the Chelmsford ‘A’ Team of Aya Rainer, Mia Hillsden and Teah Pope producing a strong and well timed performance of Kata Empi to take Silver.
Photo: Chelmsford's Childrens Team Kata- (L- R) Teah Pope, Mia Hillsden and Aya Rainer
The finals saw outstanding performances in all categories and everyone witnessed the depth and strength of the KUGB. In the Senior events, former Chelmsford students Holly Sterling (Sendai Kushiro) retained her Senior Female Kata title and Jack Somers (Ipswich Higashi) came second in the Senior Male Kata. In the Ladies Kumite, Cristina Finta (Manchester University) who trained with us during 2012/13 won her first Nationals Title and in addition was awarded the Sensei Enoeda Trophy for most outstanding competitor Over 21. Congratulations go to all three.
With the finals closed our competitors and their loyal supporters got ready for the journey back home.
Reflecting on the day’s events, Sensei Jane commented that it takes a lot of courage to enter the KUGB National Championship where there are many experienced and International Competitors all aiming to perform to their best. To compete at this level shows a willingness to develop and learn as part of a longer pursuit of Karate excellence. She was particularly pleased with the strong attitude, standard of Karate and etiquette from everyone who competed from Chelmsford SKC. Well done!
Photo: Chelmsford SKC's latest National Champion! Alexander Lockett with Sensei Andy Sherry (9th Dan)