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2010 Championships
Click here for photos of the 2010 event

Tower Shukokai Karate Club Championships Bigger (and Better) Than Ever

On Sunday June 13th 2010 Edgworth School played host to the third Tower Shukokai club championships.

The event is becoming an integral part of the club calendar and goes from strength to strength both in size and in quality.

This year for the first time, as well as individual kata (forms) and kumite (sparring) events, an additional category of team kumite was added, and the proceedings were added to with demonstrations.

Many of the children have been training for four years or more, and some are coming close to the time when they can test for the black belt. Consequently the technical standard exhibited was extremely high.

The children ranged in age from 9-12 years old and were divided into three categories according to height for the kumite event and competed together in the individual kata, the first competition of the day.

The kata semi finals drew 10 year old Sam Comer against James Foggo, also 10. In the second semi, Sam’s 12 year old brother Ben met last year’s runner up 9 year old Declan Sisson. Sam’s experience saw him defeat James by unanimous decision, and   diminutive Declan’s crisp execution brought him head-to-head with Sam in the final. The final saw Sam take a gamble in performing the newly-learned, but technically difficult kata “Ananku” , whilst Declan chose the conservative option, performing a relatively basic “Pinan” form. Declan’s stoic consistency paid off as Sam made an error, and the title went to Declan Sisson, who had earlier expressed a reservation over competing at all, telling his mother he was “no good”.

Next event was the individual kumite for the smallest boys. Bronze medal was shared between Sam Ryder and for his second podium place of the day, Declan Sisson. The final pitted the aggressive Lewis Campbell-Smith against the technical Aaron Slessor. A battle royal ensued with 10 year old Aaron emerging the champion with a 16-6 victory. Nine year old Lewis’s runner up trophy was one better than his bronze of last year.

The middle category kumite saw two excellent, hard- fought semi finals. Sam Comer pipped Alex Holland 11-10 to book his place in his second final of the morning, whilst Nick Collinson narrowly lost 2-3 to the more experienced Connor Pritchard, his bronze matching his achievement at last year’s championships. The title eventually went to the counter-punching Connor , 11, who managed to slip inside the fast, flexible kicking techniques of the younger boy.

The largest boys came next Sam Armstrong’s joint bronze matched his achievement of last year, and James Foggo’ s kumite bronze will sit nicely alongside his kata bronze on the mantelpiece. The final was between Lydon Hulley - who impressed but narrowly missed out on a medal last year, having then only just joined the club - and Robin Scowcroft, this year’s new boy, having only joined the club a few weeks ago. Lydon is a tall, rangy fighter with a fast counter punch. Unfortunately for him his opponent has taken to karate like a duck to water and quickly picked up points for accurate body kicks. Lydon, 11 conceded penalty points for excessive contact and the 10 point to 2 margin did not do justice to the overall quality of the match. Nevertheless Lydon should be proud of his runner up place, and Robin’s title of Club Champion portends a bright future for the 10 year old.

Before the team event, third dan Matthew Rathmill gave a display of the Okinawan kata “Nipaipo”, which met with warm applause.

Three teams of three boys each competed for the team title, in a round robin contest. Each team won one match so the event was decided by a count back of total points.

 Third place went to team “Bogeymen” (Lydon Hulley, Robin Scowcroft, and Alex Warren-Swann) with 10 points. Runners up were Sam Armstrong, Nick Collinson and Lewis-Campbell-Smith, collectively known as the “Fat Cows” with 12 points. The inaugural Tower Shukokai team champions then were, perhaps presciently, named “Grim Reapers”, consisting of Alex Holland, Sam Ryder and Declan Sisson.

Ben Comer carries the distinction of being the only member to place in all three championships, whilst Declan Sisson bettered his two runner-up prizes from 2009 with an impressive two golds and a silver this year.

The trophy presentations were preceded by an exhibition team match between the club seniors, refereed by Chief Instructor Andy Allwood.  In a spirited match the blue team, led by Martyn Skipper narrowly defeated Matt Rathmill’s red team two wins to one, with one bout drawn.

Trophies are always nice, but karate is about higher values than mere sport, and all competitors impressed with their sportsmanship, bravery, determination and respectful behaviour.

Organiser Martyn Skipper would like to extend hearty thanks to all the competitors, but also to the timekeepers and scorers, Olivia & Imogen Skipper; referees, Nick Jackson, Andy Allwood and Matt Rathmill; photographers, Ian Marsden and Bill Comer; first aid support, Doctor Richard Swann; all the parents and supporters, and Edgworth Headteacher Stewart Plowes for allowing the use of the school premises.

Tower Shukokai is one of the area’s oldest karate clubs, established in 1987 and meets at Edgworth School and Darwen Leisure Centre on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. For more info see


 2010 Results
Mixed ind Kata 
1Declan Sisson
2Sam Comer
3=James Foggo
Ben Comer
Small Boys Kumite 
1Aaron Slessor
2Lewis Campbell-Smith
3=Sam Ryder, Declan Sisson
Taller Boys Kumite 
1Connor Pritchard
2Sam Comer
3=Alex Holland,  Nick Collinson
Tallest Boys Kumite 
1Robin Scowcroft
2Lydon Hulley
3=James Foggo, Sam Armstrong
Team Kumite 
1"Grim Reapers" 
Alex Holland, Sam Ryder, Declan Sisson
2"Fat Cows" 
Sam Armstrong, Nick Collinson, Lewis Campbell-Smith
3 "Bogeymen"
Lydon Hulley,Robin Scowcroft, Alex Warren-Swann

©Tower Shukokai Karate Club 2015