Written by Paul Edwards, 3rd Dan

The 5th Wantage Shotokan Kata and Kumite Competition was held on Sunday 7th October with just under 100 competitors entering 22 different categories for juniors, cadets and adults. The competition attracted entries from a number of like minded traditional associations that included TSKA, KUGB, JKAE and SSKA member clubs among others based in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Kent, Dorset, and Cornwall.

Financial support from both local and national sponsors was critical in allowing the day to go ahead. Special thanks and gratitude are therefore extended to Morson International, provider of agency supplied engineering workers for their generous contribution towards the cost of the trophies.

The majority of this year’s kumite events continue with Shobu Ippon (1 point) scoring to foster a traditional ‘no second chances’ martial spirit, aligned to ‘ikken hissatsu’ (to kill in one blow). However for the younger competitors Shobu Sambon (3 points) was preferred to maximise their time on the mat and to relax the scoring criteria.
The morning was taken up with eliminations on three areas simultaneously. With the finals occurring in the afternoon after a welcome break. Despite the fierce competition, good natured sporting behaviour prevailed and old acquaintances were renewed with fellow competitors some of which have now competed every year since the inaugural event in 2003.

Lunch time entertainment was provided by Cando Martial Arts with an excellent and well received Jeet Kune Do and Kali (Filipino Weapons based Martial Art) demonstration on the concepts of being able to fight across a range of distances and against different styles of attack.

The best bout of the day featured Mackenzie Borwn and Olivia Orchard in the girls 135 to 149cm Shobu Sambon final. Both girls shown tremendous spirit and variation of techniques. Olivia came out on top despite a significant height difference. This battling spirit was of no surprise to her Sensei who noted that she had actually requested to compete against the boys as well!

Excellent examples of successful technically challenging kumite techniques and outstanding Kata performances were noted throughout the day. The collective decision made by the Officials for ‘Technique/performance of the day’ was awarded to Stella Vassiliow for a stunning kata performance of Sochin just edging it from Dillon Callery whose accurate reverse punch captured first place in his junior kumite category despite a aggressive and intimating opponent..
Points were awarded to each club based on the cumulative individual and team results of club members from the various categories. The totals were ranked giving the overall club winner. An impressively large Margate team carried off the Club Championships pipping Tonbridge into second with Abingdon and the hosts Wantage taking joint third.

Any one interested in competing in next year’s event should check out details and make contact with Sensei Paul Edwards though the web site http://wantagekarateclub.co.uk

Category 1 - Junior Kata