As has been a long standing tradition, the SEKU Squad awards were made at the last Squad training session of 2012. These awards are awarded to those individuals who the SEKU Squad Management team deem to have made the most outstanding individual contribution to the Squads success within both kumite and kata events throughout the year.

This year’s kumite award goes to Ben Hobbs, from Saltash Karate Club in Plymouth.

The kata award was presented to Rob Maynard from Portsmouth Karate Club.

Kataaward2012

Trofeo Shihan Masaru Miura – 17th March, Giaveno, Italy 2012

Trophy2The SEKU Squad have been fortunate to have been invited to many prestigious events over the years and the Trofeo Shihan Masaru Miura is one such case. The travelling party of Sensei Mick Dewey, Sensei Terry Oliver, Danny Walton, Rob Maynard, Jason Hollister, Julie Brightman, Michaela Lamport, George Oliver, Mike Grimwood and Sam Weaver left Gatwick airport on March 16th 2012, to meet up with our friends of SKI-Italia in Giaveno near Turin.

Friday evening – Instructors and karate-ka of competing nations joined Shihan Miura for dinner to meet with old friends and to make new ones amongst these of course were M’s Paolo Lusvardi, Giampetro Groselle and the organiser Alfredo Romeo as well as Biagio Ridolfo of Holland and Stephane Castrique of Belgium.

Countries represented at this event included Italy, Holland, Belgium, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Spain, Potugal, Sicily and England.

Saturday – Sensei Terry Oliver trained with Shihan Miura at the tournament area with the squad taking the opportunity for some light preparation for the main event in the afternoon.

TMichaela3he tournament began in the usual fashion with Kata. Julie Brightman (Crofton KC) in the senior ladies event performed Gojushiho-Dai very well but was just edged out by her Italian opponent. There was very little in the kata and could have scored different on another day. Michaela Lamport (Saltash KC) suffered the same fate and was unfortunate not to proceed further. Rob Maynard (Portsmouth) continued to perform at the highest level with his usual crisp techniques. He most certainly should have been in the finals and will hopefully have his rewards soon. Danny Walton also maintained his own consistent standard in kata before falling just short of the final stages. Jason Hollister (Dobwalls KC) was also denied a place in the finals some how after again demonstrating high levels of kata performance.

Individual Kumite – there were great performances from all of the squad who are now truly consistently achieving at international level, which is heartening as 3 of the guys have seamlessly made the transition from junior to senior level. (George Oliver/Mike Grimwood/Sam Weaver).

PhotoGeorgeA funny moment when Mike Grimwood (Saltash KC) on seeing his 6″5′ opponent said “Crikey, he’s tall”. Mike then went onto the mat and scored Ippon for a jodan mawashi geri! Danny Walton and Rob Maynard also excelled in this category again coming up short before the final sections.

George Oliver (Lovedean KC) fought well all day and into the evening finals where he met the eventual winner, Mustapha of Holland. This was a tense edgy match against a very experienced karate-ka. A couple of exchanges with Mustapha sealing the points. George then fought the Italian Captian for 3rd place. This match was an all action affair with 2 corner judges being unseated when both fighters went over in the corners, much to the amusement of the crowd. George eventually triumphed 2-1.

Team4Team Kumite – After a couple of rounds the notable match for the SEKUteam was against Italy. The winning team would be in the final. All bouts were very fast and exciting with the Italians securing a point in the final match to save the draw in the score. The crowd added to the intensity with most obviously cheering for the home team. Danny Walton (Saltash KC) went out for the decider only to be unlucky that his techniques were not as clear as the team saw them. This could have been the final match in terms of intensity and atmosphere. A good team match.

The event closed in a buoyant mood for all – and then off to the sayonara party which turned into another competition with each country trying to out sing and dance the other. SEKU won of course led by Jason Hollister doing Elvis! Don’t Ask!

Other than the results, the SEKU Squad’s attendance here and in Sicily 2011 have been fantastic events with the Italians being fantastic hosts. I feel that SEKU have made long lasting friends and we hope to do it all again next year.

Many congratulations to all the squad that travelled to Giaveno……

Sensei Mick Dewey

Sensei Terry Oliver

Danny Walton/Jason Hollister/Rob Maynard/Julie Brightman/Michaela Lamport/George Oliver/Mike Grimwood/Sam Weaver.

Turin