Early in the morning of Saturday 9th March over 30 SKCE members from London and Wellingborough areas descended on Bracknell Leisure Centre for the 13th Legends Open. We were accompanied by squad coach Sensei Graham and Senseis Peter & Mark who came to referee.
As always the day started with the kata events and we had representatives in all the children’s categories. In the under 12yrs up to 4th kyu event, Camille Derakhshan put in a great performance to get into the last 8 and finished just out of the trophies. Meanwhile, older sister Margaux won the 12-15yrs up to 4th kyu with ease, performing a beautiful Heian Sandan in the final. In the brown & black belt <12yrs event we had 8 entrants, who all were magnificent, and 4 of the final 8 were SKCE (Joshua Han, Katie Wettasingh-Lopez, Ashley John-Baptist, Alfie Vadon). Josh, performing Nijushiho, and Katie, performing Jion, both came away with joint 3rd place. In the massive 12-15yrs brown and black category we had 4 entrants who all put in strong performances, but sadly no trophies this time.
The women’s (16yrs +) brown & black belt kata saw good performances all round with Hazel Jenkins and Hannah Mercer getting through to the second round. The men’s event was stiffly contested with 60 entrants. Nicholas Jones & Anas Jarboua were marvellous round after round. Anas was thought to the last 8 and just missed out on the trophies while Nicholas came away with 3rd place after performing a brilliant Nijushiho in the final. In the veteran’s kata Kulwant Lall had a really well deserved 3rd place and in his own words, “I really enjoyed my category because the guys were full of so much enthusiasm, good spirit and joy for training. The guys who won were fourth and fifth dans.”
In the brown & black belt junior team kata we had 2 teams (Michaela Tranfield, Anjani Dayal, Katie Wettasingh-Lopez and Oliver Hood, Joshua Han, Lachlan Winder), both of which made it through to the final. The girls had to go again as there was a 3way tie for 1st place and in the end both our teams came away with joint 3rd place. The newly formed women’s kata team (Hazel Jenkins, Rhiannon Hackman and Hannah Mercer) had a very good first outing, winning 1st place against some very strong competition from teams whose members did very well in the individual event. They put in a very credible performance of Gojushiho Sho, but felt they could do even better with more training together. This bodes well for future competitions.
It was 12yr old Margaux Derakhshan’s first time free fighting in competition in the 12-15yrs girls up to 4th kyu kumite. She displayed sharp and fast technique to get to the final, where she faced a much older and bigger girl. Margaux bravely took a hard punch that winded her, but stayed on her feet without any tears (something some of the adults elsewhere in the competition didn’t manage). It was a well-deserved 2nd place.
There was plenty of drama in the 12-13yrs boys <5ft tall kumite. Two girls had in fact entered and were allowed to start. In the first bout a boy kicked a girl, winded her and was disqualified. A girl then won the second bout and our Oliver Hood won the third. Then it all erupted. After some considerable time, argument and discussion, all the boys restarted in a boys only event and girls restarted in the 12-15yr girls category. In the end Ollie won!
The men’s kumite was a huge event, with again 60 fighters. Anas’ lighting mae geri and Nicholas’ pick your opponent and throw him to the ground technique saw them both do very well. Unfortunately, they had to fight each other in the semi-final and this time it was Nicholas who came off best. He went on to win.
At Bracknell there is also mixed team kumite and at the end of a very long and exhausting day, our team of Anas, Nicholas and Hazel fought yet again, coming away with 3rd place. The events finally finished at 9.30 in the evening.
This year we had so many very young first time competitors at this kind of competition. Well done to you all, as it is not an easy thing to put yourself forward and perform. There were also many tears of disappointment as, despite the hard work, some did not do as well as they had hoped. It was touching to see how much they cared and they all leant a lot.
I wanted to mention one little 10 year old boy, Alfie Vadon. Anyone who knew him as a white belt will know karate didn’t always come easily for him. It was wonderful seeing him get up and perform in the last 8 of his kata event, as he is such a great example of what hard work and dedication can achieve. I can’t wait to see how much better he does next year.
A statistic to end on; Nicholas Jones (1st Men’s Kumite, 3rd Men’s Kata) 5 of his 9 fights won by ippon!
By Janita Tan
SKC England Results:-
B&B belt 11yrs & under Kata – 3rd Joshua Han, 3rd Katie Wettasingh-Lopez
8th-4th Kyu 12-15 years Kata – 1st Margaux Derakhshan
B&B belt Senior Male Kata – 3rd Nicholas Jones
Veterans Kata – 3rd Kulwant Lall
B&B belt Junior Team Kata – 3rd Michaela Tranfield, Anjani Dayal & Katie Wettasingh-Lopez
3rd Joshua Han, Oliver Hood & Lachlan Winder
Female Team Kata – 1st Hazel Jenkins, Rhiannon Hackman & Hannah Mercer
8th-4th Kyu 12-15yrs Kumite – 2nd Margaux Derakhshan
B&B belt 12&13yrs Boy’s <5ft Kumite – 1st Oliver Hood
B&B belt Senior Male Kumite – 1st Nicholas Jones
3rd Anas Jarboua
Mixed Team Kumite – 3rd Anas Jarboua, Hazel Jenkins & Nicholas Jones
[ba-quote]I wish to congratulate all those who took part in this event. Once again we have been able to introduced fresh new karateka
and their individual performances were excellent and they would all have learnt a lot from just taking part.
Needless to say the ‘old guard’ put their experience to the test and were amongst the medals of all colours
and their displays would have helped encourage by example the many younger members of the squad.
Colin Putt one of SKDUN senior officials contacted me after the event to thank SKCE for the contribution they had made to the success of the event and in particular that everyone was a credit to our organisation.
Very well done and you should all be very proud of the fine example you have shown to other Associations who took part[/ba-quote]
Gerry Grey, Chairman SKCE