Gold, Silver, Bronze. These were just some of the prizes on offer at The Shotokan of England Karate Union 2019 annual championships on Saturday 6th April.

After a short warm-up with Alan Lewis sensei the days proceedings duly got underway with team kata. It was obvious that clubs take this event seriously judging by their performances, taking the opportunity to gain some early “mat time” for the events to come.

As usual the events moved onto kata, beginning with the junior events and working through to the senior categories. The enthusiasm and camaraderie between the junior competitors was outstanding, clearly enjoying the day, win, lose or draw.

The kumite proceeded in much of a similar vein. Junior under 10 year old three step, 10-15 year old under and over 5 foot three step and freestyle fighting events. Spirit, applause, winners and losers gradually brought these events to a close and the inevitable congratulations and section trophy presentation.

The adults events saw old adversaries meeting across the mat. Some had old scores to settle whilst others were intent on retaining their previous year wins. You could sense the atmosphere change with an air of anticipation from the spectators for the forthcoming senior events.

The two main kata events ( men and ladies Black Belts), saw a different format being used this year. The three finalists of each event were asked to perform THREE different kata. Each kata was marked on a points system to find a well deserved winner. Although this did put the competitors under a great deal more pressure, a better overall kata champion was the outcome.

A similar format was also used for the men’s individual and team kumite. Each finalist fought each other, again this established a true SEKU champion.

Overall, the day was a great success with some solid, traditional karate being performed from all grades. Please follow the link for a full list of results here.

Congratulations and thank you to ALL who competed at this years championship be it as a both as winner or loser. A big thank you to the referees, judges, St. John’s Ambulance Service and spectators.

The next SEKU scheduled event is an Instructor class on Sunday 12th May 2019. Both Sensei and the SEKU Technical Panel look forward to seeing both club senior and assistant instructors.

Brian Smith, 7th Dan
SEKU Technical Panel.