WHITBY Shotokan Katae Club Senseis Mike Howard 4th Dan and Sensei Jim White 3rd Dan took a team of club members to a national all styles karate competition at Teesside University’s Olympia Sports Hall.
The massive hall was packed with karate club members from all over the country, some from clubs as far away as Essex.
Categories ranged from children (under 15) juniors (16 to 18) and seniors 18 and above.
The competition was arranged in two parts, open all styles kata and open all styles Kumite (free fighting).
The Kumite was also divided into categories, boys’ under 10 years, boys’ 11/12 years, girls’ 11/12/13/14 years, cadet male, cadet female, male senior and female senior.
Whitby’s Alex Inglis was the first of competitor who lined up in the open mixed kata competition.
Alex performed a very advanced black belt kata NiJuSheHo (24 steps) followed by Hangetsu (half moon). These katas have to be performed with real karate spirit and precision, for which Alex was awarded a bronze medal.
Dan Howard was next up in the kata arena and performed NiJuSheHo and Gankaku (crane on a rock) in the Shotokan Kata and won a bronze medal.
Luke Richardson performed Bassai Dai and Heian Sandan in the senior mixed shotokan category and won a bronze medal.
Karate is such an interesting sport when so many different karate styles come together and compete, although the ultimate aim of karate is strictly for self-defence it is always interesting to see how each style has its own emphasis on how this aim should be achieved.
After a short break, the Kumite (free fighting) competitions started and Paddy McCourt was lined up in arena two.
In a rapid leap forward, Paddy scored a (waza) half point against his opponent with a lunge punch to the head, the fight went on for about 15 minutes and he was awarded a bronze medal.
Leo Goodwill was in arena one and fought exceptionally well through some fine punches and kicks at his opponent, but was overcome by a much experienced black belt and was awarded a bronze medal.
Dan Howard was called to area one where he immediately scored with a side kick which should have won him the fight but the referee decided otherwise,
Dan also caught his opponent with a good lunge punch dropping the opponent to the floor. There was then a massive exchange of kicks and blows, Dan’s opponent caught him with a powerful blow to the ribs which brought the scores to even.
More kicks and punches were thrown at each other and Dan was awarded his second bronze medal.
Luke Richardson immediately scored a point with a strong (Yoko geri kiagi), another good fight and at the end of the contest Luke was beaten by a more experienced opponent.
In the whole competition, Whitby Shotokan excelled itelf by bringing home a total of six medals.
Sensei White said: “Not a bad day’s work for a small town karate club.
“Perhaps next year we will do better.”
The club is registered with the Independent Federation Of Martial Arts, all instructors are qualified black belt Senseis and hold City & Guilds Diplomas - including Health and Safety and Child Protestion - for coaching adults and children.
The club trains on Mondays and Thursdays at Airy Hill Primary School, novices 5.30-6.30pm; intermediate 6.30-7.30pm and advanced 7.30-9pm.
Anyone interested in learning the martial skills of Shotokan Karate or self-defence contact Mike Howard on 01947 604861, Jim White 820378 or Chris Watmough 821579. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org