Gidea Park & Hornchurch Ishinryu sent a small squad of five Junior athletes to the Kyu Grade National Championships on Sunday 13th January 2019 representing Ishinryu held at Leicester’s Morning side Arena.
Sensei Kate Karwacinski was present as Senior Coach for the Squad who, although had an extremely long day competing, did both themselves, their club and association proud.
The competition had over 1,000 entries and our junior athletes participated in both the Kata and Kumite disciplines.
OlowaSegun Olofinjana was first up for the squad performing a very strong Kata, just losing out on flags to a slightly more experienced performance from his opponent.
Jack Fennessy followed next, reaching the second round and again narrowly losing to his opponent in a 2-1 split decision- a great performance from Jack.
Our more experienced and older squad members took to the tatami next with both Ciaran Buckley and Olowakemi Olofinjana both giving two fantastic performances and narrowly losing to more experience karateka on the day.
Our competitors continued their drive into their kumite categories.
OlowaSegun Olofinjana gave a heartfelt and passionate performance in his 8-9 year kumite category winning his first match after scoring a fast head kick and defending his lead right to the final buzzer- unfortunately he bowed out in the next round being up against again a slightly more seasoned fighter.
Jack Fennessy fought with great heart and aggression beating his first round opponent 6-2 with lovely timed punches, again narrowly losing the next round to a more experienced fighter.
Ryan Buckley, brother of Ciaran Buckely mentioned above, was up next and although fought a very clever and tactical fight was just beaten on the final buzzer giving away too many warnings and frustratingly being disqualified. A good fight and with a little more experience could easily have passed into the next round.
OlowaKemi Olofinjana and Ciaran Buckley were our last two competitors of the day.
Kemi, fighting a very experienced girl in her category, managed to secure a 0-0 draw narrowly losing 2-1 on flags with referee’s decision! A frustrating loss but very impressive performance from Kemi.
Ciaran then took to the mat as our final competitor of the day. Winning his first round, Ciaran definitely showed he was the more dominant fighter scoring some very impressive and strong techniques. After a hard fought battle in the next round Ciaran, although scoring an impressive sweep to take him into the lead, conceded a head kick which left him just losing the match.
Overall, all the above athletes, although not winning any medals, showed true heart, passion and determination throughout the day and a lot of potential for the future! As an association and club, we are very proud of their performances at such a high-level competition. Well done to all!
Sensei Kate, Steve and Chris are now focused on improving participation from within Ishinryu from grassroots to the elite at championships such as this which provide a platform to showcase Ishinryu’s future stars!