12th Udine Trophy Tournament, Udine Italy

12th Udine Trophy Tournament, Udine ItalyOn Sunday 17th April 2011 two squad members from Khalsa Champions travelled to the small town of Udine in Northern Italy to compete in the 12th Udine Trophy Tournament. This event has been running for over a decade now and always attracts a good standard of competitor.

Cuba and Bleu Parris were the two representatives from the United Kingdom and Khalsa Champions to represent not only their club but their country as well. The whole aim of this competition and entire trip was to gain more of an insight into the way Europeans compete and train and perhaps to gain valuable experience from what our friends overseas have to offer. Both boys have had previous experience of competing overseas since 2009 and wanted to continue their trend of achievements abroad and still at a relatively young age.

The competition started promptly due to the smooth organization of the event. Bleu was competing in both forms this weekend and as normal the Kata events were first up. Bleu faced a tough group in the boys 12-13 year 3rd Kyu and above category. The competition was following full WKF rules for Kata and whatever style you were practicing the compulsory Katas had to be performed first. Bleu performed Bassai Dai in his first round, executed perfectly, he gained all five flags in his favour. In his second round he performed Seininchin which again looked very sharp and gained him a 4-1 win. Bleu was looking very strong today and technically good. He had reached the semi finals where he met a very strong Italian opponent, whose height, build and strong Shotokan moves looked as if they were going to be a real threat to Bleu. However despite the odds Bleu gave an astounding performance with his Annan and again won 4 flags to 1. Bleu had reached the final now and decided upon performing Unshu. His opponent chose Chatanyara Kushanku. On this occasion his opponents performance had won the majority of the judges over and Bleu bowed out gracefully with a 4-1 loss. His performances today showed his true capability as a Kata competitor and in Europe generally the standard is that much higher so to gain a Silver at this level is a real achievement. Well done Bleu, we are all very proud.

It was then on to the fighting. This proved to be rather difficult in more ways than one. This tournament decided to not follow WKF rules and had devised some rules of their own. This entailed a two minute bout without stopping and only being allowed to throw five techniques, any type of sweep was not allowed. As the bout was not stopped at any point to indicate if any points were scored you had to continually fight for two minutes- a real test for stamina and fitness!!

Cuba was in the 12-13 year minus 45kg category and faced a relatively large group of boys. Cuba decided that the strange rules were not going to deter him and had to fight every fight like it was his last in order to get the judges vote. Cuba did exceptionally well and after five fights and gaining all three flags in the final he won the Gold medal. Cuba was able to overcome the different ways of doing things and adapt perfectly showing his true class as a talented competitor. Congratulations on your Italian Gold!
Bleu followed in the same age group once again but this time in the minus 55kg weight category. Bleu only had a small group and again like Cuba did not feel entirely comfortable with the rules that had been imposed but just like his twin he gave it his all. Unfortunately for Bleu he lost on a split decision in the semi final but still gained the Bronze medal and a lot of appreciation from a few audience members who came to congratulate him on his fighting.

It was good to go somewhere completely different and be challenged in a positive way. The boys faced different rules and different competitors but still managed to medal in all their categories and we would like to thank the organizer Aldegisto Sodero for his kindness and hospitality from beginning to end. The smooth and professional running of this event ensured a well attended and friendly tournament. We all enjoyed the weekend and came away with many positives from it and we look forward to attending more in the future. A special thank you also to Sensei Sat who took time out to come and coach the boys at this event.


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