The English Kyu Grade Championships 2012

3 Competitors 3 Gold and 1 Bronze.

On Sunday, 22nd January, Khalsa Champions attended the inaugural Kyu grades only English Championships held at Ponds Forge, Sheffield. With over 800 overall contestants, this event was by far the biggest event our young competitors had attended. The squad members attending were Francesca Hardcastle, Alexandra James and Noah Allen. These three competitors have been showing some great promise and have been training hard under tremendous pressure to prepare for this event.

Our first competitor to take the mat was Alexandra James. Alex has been head and shoulders above the girls in her category for the last few tournaments. Given the level of preparation, it was not surprising to see Alex put in another strong performance. With scores of 1-0, 5-0, 9-0 and in the final 3-1, Alex always looked like bringing home our first Kyu grade Championship medal. Not only did Alex set the tone for the day, but helped sharpen our other competitors minds by setting a great example.

Noah was up next in a packed boys category. Noah was one of 33 competitors in what was a hotly contested group. Landing heavy gyaks quite early on in both of his first two fights, Noah dropped two competitors out of the competition and won by forfeit. As the going got tougher, Noah’s next three fights were won by scores of 3-2, 2-0 and in the final, 2-0. This was a great accomplishment for Noah that required some serious mental toughness. Khalsa now had two new English Champions on the day.

After a long wait, Francesca Hardcastle’s categories got under way. In her initial category, the 12-13 year old girls open weight category, Fran came out looking extremely sharp and finished her first fight 8-0 against a very good fighter. In the semi-final, Fran drew the eventual winner and the two fought the toughest fight of the category, drawing 1-1. This one went to flags and it was split 2-2, but the head judge went for her opponent and Fran settled for the Bronze. After this, Fran was in a virtual repeat of the open category, fighting in +45kgs. Fran carried on her sharpness and fought her way through to the final with style, winning 8-0 and 4-0 back to back fights before facing a real test. Toughing this one out, we went into the finals against the winner of the open category. Scoring opened up more than the previous fight and Fran began to outscore the opponent in what was an intense fight, eventually winning 13-9 and bringing home Khalsa’s 3rd English Championship of the day.

Sensei Sat commented: The turnout for the day was amazing and Paul Campbell and team continue to show how good there organization is in preparing for such a large event! Well done Paul and Team.

The Khalsa Squad performed with impeccable spirit and support for each other, which was echoed in the results.

I would like to thank the squad and coach Sophie for preparing the team over the past months and to instill the belief, nothing is impossible if you really really want it!!

My thanks goes to ALL my instructors that helped and covered the class and grading’s to allow me to coach the squad. With out there love and support and all the students, parents, members and friends support we could not have achieved what we did yesterday!

Lastly would like to thank Chris, Debbie, Anthony and Jel and Liz for all their help!! Sensei Sat!

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