On Saturday 7th May, a large number of members and their supporters from Chelmsford Shotokan Karate Club traveled to the City of Birmingham for the Karate Union of Great Britain’s (KUGB) 50th National Championship at the Barclaycard Arena.
The KUGB is the largest single style Karate organization 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. The finals opened on a high note for Chelmsford with Anya Dunbar winning Gold in the Brown Belt Kata with an excellent performance of Bassai Dai.
In the Children’s Team Kata, the trio of Mia Hillsden, Louise Filmer and Melvyn Tang as a newly formed team did exceptionally well to reach the finals and performed an excellent Kata (set form) – Empi to take fourth position.
Melvyn Tang also went on to win a further two medals in his individual categories. He came fourth in the Black Belt Kata with Kata Bassai Sho and took joint third in the Boys over 5ft 5in Kumite after fighting strongly all day.
In addition as the KUGB were celebrating it's 50th year since being formed in 1966 there were a number of special demonstrations. Chelmsford's Jamie Lottering took part in one of those alongside three of his KUGB England Squad team mates where they demonstrated the Bunkai (application of Kata) for the Kata Unsu.
There was also a number of presentations made to Long Standing Members of the KUGB. Sensei Andy Sherry (9th Dan) KUGB Chairman and Chief Instructor presented Kelly Hodkinson with her twenty year certificate, Sensei Richard Naylor-Jones with his thirty year certificate and Sensei Dot Naylor with her fifty year certificate. Congratulations to you all - a 100 years in total!
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 said "I am always very proud to see one of our young Shotokan Tigers crowned National Champion and our medal winners on the podium. However, 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 SKC. Well done!
Of course, a lot of our success over the years would not have been possible had Sensei Dot not started Karate so it was particularly pleasing to see her awarded her 50th LSM by Sensei Sherry".