Southern England Karate Championships July 2012

3 Competitors: 1 Gold, 2 Silver!

On Sunday, 8th of July, Khalsa Champions travelled to Clacton on Sea to compete in the Southern England Karate Championships.

The club was split up on this day due to the Youth Championships in Greece, which Sophie attended with Sat (see report). Therefore we left the inexperienced fighters at home and, on the day, we had Noah Allen, Prabjit Sehra and Francesca Hardcastle competing.

Clacton is always highly competitive, and in most years extra enjoyable because of the pier and fun fair. However, the English weather was not co-operating and we did not go in for the extra-curricular activities.

Making a bold move, Fran entered the Kata category, which is something that she has not entered in quite some time. Fran was up first, which can be very difficult, as the Judges try to establish a conservative benchmark for the remaining competitors. However, Fran scored an outstanding 21.3 and held the joint lead until the last competitor stole it with a 21.4. Fran then went into a three-way play-off for silver and turned in the high score of the entire category with a 21.6. Judges later told Fran that had she performed her second Kata in the first round, she would have won Gold, but Silver was nevertheless a great result.

Noah was first up in the fighting and had a large category and got unlucky not to be one of the ones to receive a bye, meaning that we had a potential five rounds ahead. Noah drew the toughest fight first and won a decision after a 2-2 draw (in which Noah landed a side kick that was deemed excessive and penalized a point). The next three rounds were much more comfortable with scores of 4-2, 6-1 and 8-0 in the semi-final. Noah dislocated his shoulder a couple of weeks ago and after taking the lead in the final, had a recurrence and had to forfeit the match whilst in the winning. Real pity, but a great day fighting, well done Noah!

PJ was up next and also had a large category. In the first round, PJ found himself in a very scrappy fight and on the wrong end of warnings. When this happens, so many options get taken away from the fighter. So after giving up 3 penalty points and a tough call on a roundhouse Sanbon, PJ went out 5-8. Penalties hurt and we need to stay with our clean techniques. PJ is definitely a clean fighter and just needs to bring that into the next tournament.

Last up on the Day was Fran in the Kumite. Fran only had four fighters in her group, but each one turned out to offer a challenge. In the semi-final, we faced a very awkward and aggressive fighter. Although Fran was looking like the winner, she suffered some severe penalties, including what looks to be a nice black eye. Still, Fran’s class showed through and she toughed out a 4-3 win. In the final, the class of the fight went through the roof. Fran was throwing some great techniques and even landed (and narrowly missed another) a lovely hook kick. Fran managed her lead in this fight exactly the way the club has been working on and came through in a very nice 4-2 score line. Well earned Gold, put some ice on it!

Sensei Sat commented "This weekend was a great weekend for the club. Internationally we had a great result, and nationally the junior’s had an excellent result. This weekend’s results show we can mix it with all levels and ages!! Fran continues to show her quality as does Noah achieving Gold and Silver. For Prabhjit this is another learning experience whereby his aggression was strong but his distance wasn’t. Nevertheless an excellent result and I’m very proud of what they have achieved. I would like thank all 3 students for showing the courage this weekend and coaches Chris and Debbie for travelling and coaching the small squad!!!"

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