On Sunday 17th November 2019, the University of Worcester Arena hosted The Central England 7th International Open. Nine different countries were represented, with over 500 competitors taking part.
Zen-Shin took our new squad down to gain some experience from this prestigious event. There were some really high level competitors in the arena, and I expect to see some of the same faces in the Olympics next year in 2020.
Our first success was early on the in the morning with Alanna Grant and Nerone. The duo placed 1st in the ‘9 and under pairs kata’ category. They have come a long way since a disappointing result earlier in the year. They work together great as a team, and it’s great that they have the discipline to keep improving.
Kayla took 3rd place in ‘8-9yrs girls kumite.’ There were a lot of other great karate-ka competing against her, but Kayla put up a good fight in order to secure her medal.
Phoenix took silver in individual kata for boys 9-11yrs. Phoenix showed great focus through the early rounds, and looked to have been the favourite. A slight lapse in concentration under pressure may have allowed the gold to slip through his fist. However Phoenix did a great job, and now he is hungry for gold.
Micah, the master of long katas, entered the Learning Difficulties Kata Category and came away with 3rd place. We are so proud of Micah. His first external competition, and after that performance it won’t be his last.
Many of these competitors have been training many years before they chase their ambitions of glory to compete against other clubs. Harry and Steve both break the mould. Both students have been training for around 6 months, and have already competed multiple times. It takes bravery to compete against someone on the same level. Harry showed us what kind of bravery he has when he shouted out ‘Heian Shodan’ (considered a low level kata) as the kata he was to perform in front of an audience of international, seasoned black belts and judges. Harry proceeded to perform his kata showing great focus. Although he didn’t come away with a medal, that experience was priceless.
Steve came away with a Gold in his category for Males over 40. Steve has made a lot of progress and has built on the experience gained from the last Zen-Shin competition in October.
Jane and Suzy participated individually in the Women’s 35yrs and above category. They both took joint 3rd place with their kata performance. There were some other really talented ladies competing, so they did great to come away with a medal.
As well as Kata, we had students competing in kumite. We expected a high level of competition, and it didn’t disappoint. Many students came for the experience, and the chance to learn. Our team did their best, but were unable to sustain a winning streak long enough to get a medal. There are many lessons to be learned from this experience, and the Zen-Shin coaches have paid attention on how we all need to adapt in order to stay competitive in the evolving sport. In the coming months we will look to expand our squad training times and sessions, and hope we can have as many willing karate-ka on board for the journey.
In total we took home 2 Gold Medals, 1 Silver Medal, and 4 Bronze Medals.
Out of 62 teams, Zen-Shin finished 10th! We are very happy with that result considering the international competition that was there.
Well done to all the competitors, those that went home with or without a medal. This was a valuable experience, so now is the time for us to focus on our weaknesses in order to improve.
Below is a list of our students who competed at this event:
Alanna – 1st place Team Kata 9 and under & individual kata
Nerone – 1st place Team Kata 9 and under & individual kata
Phoenix – 2nd place Kata 9-11 & Pairs kata
Lauren – Kata
Miriam – Kata
Diana – Kata
Kayla – Kumite 3rd place, pairs kata & kumite
Morgan – Kata & kumite
Kyle – Kata, pairs & kumite
Kishan – Kata & pairs
Daniel – Kata
Harry – Kata
Steve – 1st Kata 40yrs plus
Shania – Kata & Kumite
Jane – 3rd place 35 years and over Kata
Suzy – 3rd place 35 yrs and over Kata
Micah O’Connor – 3rd place Learning Difficulties Kata
Morgan – Kumite & Kata
Mohammed – Kumite
Liam – Kumite
Omar – Kumite
To view the statics from the event click this link