JKA WF Afro-Eurasian Championships – May 2013 Paisley, Scotland

This was the inaugural Afro Eurasian championships, and so there was no history to set expectations. SKCE sent a team of 10 people to represent England at this significant international competition which was held over two days.

This was a straightforward competition, with no messing about with categories and sub categories, adults only and eight events only (male & female, individual & team, kata & kumite).


As always, we start with the kata events. Despite great kata we didn’t get anyone though to either of the Individual Kata finals, however the team events were a very different story. Both teams made the finals.

“This was an incredible achievement. What also needs addressing was the fact that the Female Kata team were competing with statistics that were heavily stacked against them, finally coming 2nd. The Male Kata team were absolutely outstanding, also finishing 2nd.” Sensei Graham

With the Kumite events, it just got even better. Hazel Jenkins fought her way spectacularly into the final four, but sadly just missed out on a medal. Leon Gordon was also in the final four; and he did come away with a medal, 3rd place. In both the Team Kumite events SKCE delivered again!

“Kumite was no less dramatic. One fighter was recalled into the team after a two and a half year absence by his team mates, achieving 3rd in both Individual and Male Team Kumite. I believe in both cases he and the team would have achieved 1st place as his scoring techniques were not seen, it was simply too difficult for anyone to cope with his speed. In light of this, Sensei Peter Welsh was asked to referee the final Team Kumite event (too late for us); one he said was an honour…one I say was a necessity of fairness and experience.” – Sensei Graham

“I fought well and executed my moves to the best of my ability …felt I should have won the Individual Kumite.” – Leon Gordon

“A big highlight for me was winning my first team fight with one of my throws, gaining me an Ippon against the Southern Ireland fighter, which everyone stood up and cheered.” – Nicholas Jones

“Being 10 years out of the competitions added angst to my emotions, making them slightly mixed. Though when the competition started, I was a little off during the first fight, but thanks to the German coach’s uninvited pep talk, this fed fuel to my fire and I found myself once again. This helped get us into the final of the Female Team Kumite. The Italian team where fabulous opponents and the SKCE girls put in everything they had into the final fight to come 2nd.” – Michelle Workman


A special mention must go to Sensei Peter and Isabel, who went far beyond all reasonable expectation in looking after us and it was so appreciated. “Sensei Peter and Graham’s support and guidance were excellent and Isabel did a wonderful job at keeping us fed and watered, thank you all so much!” – Michelle Workman

Credit must also go to JKA World Federation, who organised these championships so wonderfully and went out of their way to be helpful. They were always polite, smiling, what wonderful Scottish hospitality!

“At the end of the competition I was called over by Naito Sensei and we had a small conversation in Japanese, in which he said the Team Kata was very good and a strong performance from the England team.” – Nicholas Jones

“My favourite part of the weekend in Scotland was realising that every single member of our team was coming home with a medal. After the finals, we all went out to Nandos and bowling to celebrate, it was so much fun. It was such a good weekend.” – Hannah Mercer

“The Afro-Eurasian competition in Scotland is perhaps one of the best competitions I’ve had the pleasure of attending. This was in no small part due to the fantastic team who traveled to represent SKC and England. The relaxed atmosphere between the team outside of competition, whilst travelling to Scotland and at the hotel, transferred to a relaxed mentality whilst performing on the mats.” – Sam Hackman

“Great tournament for England and it has definately put SKCE on the map as a great force.” – Leon Gordon

Results For SKCE Competitors Who Were Representing England

-Female Team Kata – 2nd (Rihannon Hackman, Hazel Jenkins, Hannah Mercer)
-Male Team Kata – 2nd (Sam Hackman, Nicholas Jones, Euan Pich)
-Male Individual Kumite – 3rd Leon Gordon
-Female Team Kumite – 2nd (Hazel Jenkins, Janita Tan, Michelle Workman)
-Male Team Kumite – 3rd (Leon Gordon, Anas Jarboua, Nicholas Jones)

This was a fantastic achievement with England (SKCE competitors) on the podium for 5 out of the 8 events!

– Report By Janita Tan

– Photography courtesy of Rhiannon Hackman

– A video of the mens team kata can be found here TEAM KATA and Nicholas Jones ippon can be found here TEAM KUMITE

– Thanks to Sam Hackman


  1. Rona Hackman on May 26, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    WOW !! Is all I can say to the fantastic performances the SKC England team gave at JKAWF Afro-Eurasia Championships. Every single one of them returned with at least one medal, they are a real credit not only to SKC but to England.
    I consider myself to be very fortunate as I have had the opportunity to accompany the SKC England squad to many competitions in recent years. I have seen highs and lows, triumphs and disappointments and what has always impressed me is how the team bonds and supports each other regardless of the outcome.
    This competition was no different there was a positive vibe amongst the team and with Squad coach Graham Mercer giving encouraging pep talks they were all eager to do their best. Although the number of competitors at this competition were smaller than originally expected the standard of karate was very high.
    It is very hard for me to pick out the best bits from this competition as there were so many highlights. For me Team kata is always an event I love to watch, but then I am probably bias as both my children compete in this event. I love seeing the team come together and move as one and can really appreciate the hard work that goes into achieving this. I was pleased they received the recognition they deserved with both teams getting silver medals
    Kumite is always an exciting event and one I was looking forward to, with the return of Leon Gordon, he is always a joy to watch his speed and power catching many an opponent out and probably some of the refs too as in my opinion he should have definitely been in the final. The antics of Nicholas Jones were a great source of amusement not only for the audience but for the senior Sensei’s Kawasoe, Mori, Naito and Kamino who were seen laughing as he lifted his opponent up and threw him down scoring an ipon.
    I must also give a mention to Michelle Workman after a disappointing first round fight and an unfortunate encounter with the German coach she came back with true fighting spirit and had an amazing next couple of rounds helping to secure a place in the women’s Team Kumite final.
    The competitiveness of the team continued even outside the arena, with arm wrestling, bowling and basketball, all whilst waiting for our flight home.
    I would like to take this opportunity to give a special thank-you to Peter and Isabel Welsh for their help and support throughout the tournament.

    Rona Hackman

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