On Sunday December 8th 2013 Tower Shukokai Karate Club held its 6th annual club championships at Edgworth School. The event has always been primarily the opportunity for younger members to gain experience in competition prior to embarking on full open tournaments. This year however the invitation to enter was extended to the Preston and Burnley branches of USKA, a sister club within the Amateur Martial Association (AMA) family.
As ever the priority was to encourage novices and the majority of the entrants were relatively inexperienced, and in many cases this was their first ever competition. In addition to the junior membership, many karate classes are enjoying increasing support from older members so a novice veterans category was included this time.
The visitors dominated the kata (forms) events with father and son Rob and Lewis Dawson of Burnley taking first and second in the adult (16 years plus) coloured belt category.
The children’s kata category was by far the largest event and again the visitors swept the board, with Preston taking one, two and three, and Cameron Downie of Burnley taking the fourth spot.
Tower’s International, Philip Wan took the black belt kata title with a crisp, assured performance.
In the boys’ Kumite (sparring) 7 year old Angus McIver retained his tile, won last year, against older and taller opposition.
12 year old Luke Allwood, elder son of Tower head coach Andy, took the 12 and under Kumite title whilst younger brother Daniel took bronze in the 9 and under event.
Tower’s Sophia Pilkington and Abigail Kehoe battled in the girls’ Kumite final and it was Sophia’s experience (she has taken medals at two open tournaments) that showed as she took the title.
Despite being almost novices with no competition experience Preston’s veteran ladies Julia Cross and Angela Pickup gave Tower’s black belt Katie Keppie a tough battle but were unable to defeat her.
After the competition proper, club seniors Ian Marsden and Phil Wan joined Preston’s coach John Carr- himself an England International veteran- in a round robin Black Belt Veterans challenge. John and Phil each defeated Ian making the deciding bout between John and Phil an exciting prospect. John opened the scoring and continued to lead for much of the match, but Phil clawed his way back against his England team mate to steal the match 6 points to 5.
The tournament was characterised by goodwill and good sportsmanship.
Referees were Martyn Skipper, Andy Allwood and USKA Burnley’s instructor Nick Keys. They were assisted by Richard Swann and Bill Comer as timekeepers and scorers.
Other members of Tower Shukokai assisted with the organisation.
Organiser Martyn Skipper praised all the competitors and hoped that the event could be repeated next year, extending again the invitation to USKA to return.