Sunday, May 8, 2011

Shotokan Karate SA National Champs

Last Thursday evening J attended grading. It was a tough grading but he did very well, and it was decided that he would be graded to senior brown belt. He came home with the biggest smile ever!

On Saturday we were up at 5 ( early for us! ) so that we could take J out to the Shotokan Karate SA National Champs. There was great excitement as competitors and spectators filled the hall. The regional teams lined up and were welcomed.

While looking at the competition sheets with J, his Sensei came over to ask him and two of his team mates why they had not entered the team kata event? They looked at one another, and with a bit of encouragement from me and their Sensei, they decided to go for it!
Most team events are practised for long in advance of competition day and I was most impressed with their decision to enter at the last minute. They had the guts to just give it a bash even though they knew they had not practised together at all.

They made it through to the second round of the competition......

and here Sensei Maryanne places a bronze medal around J's neck!

They came third, beating at least one team who had practised diligently.I love the broad smiles captured in this photo as they received their first medals of the day.Of course we all imagine what they could have achieved if they had practised!

The next event J took part in was individual kata. Last year he fell out early in the competition and was not placed.

There were 8 boys in his division this year and..

.....he and his team kata mates took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place!
Here they are with Sensei Nigel Jackson, head of Shotokan Karate.

There was no stopping these boys now!

The last event for J was the Cadet's under 60kg kumite. I love to watch him compete but at the same time, I am always incredibly nervous. There were 6 boys competing in his division and in the first round J got a bye which put him through to the second round where he competed against one of his team mates (photo above). He won this fight 4:2. This put him through to next round where he won 8:0....

And the winner in this division was....J with Gold....the reigning SA Champ for Kumite!
His team mate came second with a silver medal.

( The third member of his kata team won gold in his division for kumite too so between the 3 boys they got 9 medals in total! The third team member also went on to be pronounced Cadet of the Year as he won gold in both his individual events.)

The final event for the day was the Shotokan Cup, open to anyone over 16. ( I was really glad that J was not taking part in this event!) There were some pretty intense moments as we watched the competitors fight it out.
What a truly incredile, exciting, nerve wracking and fun filled day!

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