On Saturday 11th May, a large number of members and their supporters from Chelmsford Shotokan Karate Club travelled to the Leicester Arena for the Karate Union of Great Britain’s (KUGB) 53rd National Championships.
The KUGB is the largest single style Karate organisation in the UK and this prestigious tournament is one of their most significant events in the annual calendar. With athletes competing for the first time through to seasoned ‘world class’ competitors, the standard of karate on display was of the highest quality.
Eliminations began at 10am and there were some exceptional performances from the Chelmsford competitors as they battled their way through the rounds. Many reached the quarter finals and the semi finals and were unlucky to progress further. However, Chelmsford have a long tradition of competing successfully at British National level and this year was no exception.
Alexander Lockett was outstanding to take Bronze in the Individual Black Belt Kata and also the Boy's Kumite Under 5'. He then joined team mates Nick Nelson and Layla Barrett in the Children’s Team Kata final. As a newly formed team they did exceptionally well to reach the finals and performed an excellent Kata (set form) – Empi to take third position.
Chelmsford's Ladies Team Kumite of Kelly Hodkinson, Emma Burke, Lisa Ironman and Megan Naylor-Jones - Reserve reached the final eventually taking Silver from Halewood a team that has two current World & European Champions. This was an excellent result as they built on the two previous years where they had been placed Joint third. It certainly looks good for the forthcoming Southern Region Championships in June.
Reflecting on the day’s events, Sensei Jane Naylor-Jones said “I am always very proud to see both our young Shotokan Tigers and our seniors performing at this level and very proud to have our medal winners on the podium . It takes a lot of courage to enter the KUGB National Championships where there are many experienced and International Competitors all aiming to perform to their best. We had a large entry and I am pleased with the strong attitude, standard of Karate and etiquette from everyone who competed from Chelmsford Karate Club. Well done! "