We are delighted to report that the 4th JKS World Championships held last weekend at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland was a huge success. The event was well attended by over 30 countries and the standard of karate on display was nothing short of inspirational.
We were so pleased to have been part of it and witness just how great the association we belong to is. Everything was just superb. The organisation of the event, the friendly welcoming nature of the Scottish hosts, the warmth and camaraderie between competitors, officials and supporters was something to be very proud of. An incredible experience for all involved.
The event kicked off with a Seminar taught by the boss and JKS World Technical Director – Kagawa Shihan 8th Dan, Chief Instructor of the International Department – Yamaguchi Sensei 7th Dan and Chief Instructor of Japanese Department – Kanayama Sensei 7th Dan.
It was unsurprisingly packed out as everyone turned out in force to train with the 3 Instructors at the top. The Seminar was hard work as you would expect but thoroughly enjoyable, we covered kihon drills, Heian Katas and Junro Katas with Kagawa Shihan, the Koten Katas with Yamaguchi Sensei and Kumite drills with Kanayama Sensei.
The following Red Tigers travelled to Scotland to either take part or support:
Paul Wolstencroft Sensei was selected to officiate as part of the JKS England Officials team.
Sam Jackson and Grace Baron were selected to take part in the Championships.
Mike Baron Sensei, Michelle & Izzy Baron and Kerrie & Mark Jackson, Rob Head Sensei, Callum Miles Sensei, Rachael Wolstencroft Sensei, Steve Dargan Sensei, Mike Beckwith Sensei, Leesa Beckwith Sensei and Lorraine Schofield Sensei came along to show their support with the Instructors training at the Seminar.
A Dan Grading immediately followed the Seminar where we got to watch Mike Beckwith Sensei successfully achieve his Yondan (4th Dan) Black Belt and Lorraine Schofield Sensei successfully achieve her Sandan (3rd Dan) Black Belt in front of Kagawa Sensei, Yamaguchi Sensei, Kanayama Sensei and Norman Robinson Sensei from JKS South Africa. It has taken 15 + years of hard work and dedication to reach this level and we couldn’t be more proud of them both. It takes a lot of courage to go for these high grades especially in front of Kagawa Sensei and they both did a great job. Well done.
Steve Sensei also took part in the grading and successfully passed his kumite section, but will retake his Kata in the next Senior Dan Grading with Kagawa Sensei in March 2017. Steve Sensei was very unlucky not to pass after performing a strong Sochin, Kagawa Sensei selected one of the most difficult and least practised Katas ‘Bassai Sho’. This was unfortunate but were are so certain that Steve Sensei will come back strong from this disappointing set back and smash it next time around.
The Team events took place the following day and Grace was selected for the 11-13 years England Team Kumite. We enjoyed many events leading up to this including the Mens Team Kata which was won by Nagaka Sensei, Arimoto Sensei and Toyama Sensei and the Ladies team Kata which was won by Okamoto Sensei, Kayo Someya and Mayumi Someya as you would expect. Their performances were outstanding.
JKS England were having a fantastic day picking up both team kata and team kumite medals across all of the the Tatami’s and we were sat feeling quietly confident that Grace, Alice and Amy might just be able medal like their teammates.
They waited nervously and when they were called up, you could see all three were just ready to go for it against a strong looking team from Ireland. Alice went out first and got the win, Amy unfortunately lost her very close fight leaving it down to Grace to try and get the team through to the final. Grace was just amazing, it was like everything she has been working on just came together at the right time and won her fight with time to spare!
They had a short period to rest before going for Gold against Isreal who had just taken out the Scottish team. This time around all three English girls won their fights and took 3 very hard earned and well deserved GOLD medals.
Grace was fantastic once again and is our first ever JKS World Champion!
JKS England finished up the day at the top of the medal table after all of the team events had taken place.
The next day, Grace was back in action in the individual events with Sam taking part for the first time in the Individual Kata. Grace was up first once again in the Koten Kata section. This went straight to points and Grace put in an excellent performance. We all nervously waited to hear the results and we were delighted to hear that she came out on top once again! She is the Kotan Kata World Champion for her age group. To be a double World Champion is something that she probably still can’t quite believe! And she wasn’t finished there…..
Sam and Grace’s events coincided, as Grace performed for an Individual Kata medal on one ring, Sam was called up on another. Sam was up against Spain in the first round and it was extremely close. Sam lost out by 3 flags to 1 to an excellent Spanish competitor who went on to finish 3rd out of a group of 40. This was extremely unlucky and just about sums up Sams run of bad luck at events this year. He thoroughly enjoyed his experience and was rightfully pleased with his performance. Sam has a great attitude and is determined to keep going, trying his best and work harder. He has the talent and the work ethic, surely his luck must turn soon! We are incredibly proud of Sam for being selected and represent our Club. What a star.
Grace won both her first and second rounds in the 12-13 Individual Kata and performed Kata ‘Gojushiho-Sho’ in the finals. This was another strong and confident performance from Grace and she was one of the first ones up, meaning that the wait for all the other competitors to finish was a long and agonizing one. She finished in 2nd Place and once again couldn’t believe it! Two Golds and a Silver medal. Unbelievable, but she wasn’t finished there……………
Just one more event to complete in what had to be one of the best days of her life, Individual kumite. Grace has made no secret of the fact that it is not the event that she enjoys the most but she perseveres and realises that it is important to improve all areas of your karate. She was just going out there to enjoy herself in her final event of the day and once again exceeded all expectations finishing up in 3rd Place. Two golds, one silver and one bronze is a good weekends work eh!
We are so proud of Grace’s achievements and it is all down to her hard work and listening and implementing to the guidance that she gets from her Instructors and coaches. She really is a dream to teach and deserves every bit of success she gets.
Special mention must go to Mike, Michelle and Izzy who without their love and support, Grace would not be able to accomplish what she has. Mike Sensei is an outstanding Instructor, who has put countless hours of time and patience into Grace’s karate. He is her boss, her mentor, her driver, the one who keeps her going when she’s feeling tired, keeps her motivated and on the right path with her feet firmly on the ground. This won’t change her one bit. It will only make her even better.
Grace is one lucky girl with wonderfully supportive parents and it really does make the difference. The Jacksons are also super supportive and Sam is a very lucky lad too!
The JKS England Team were incredible with a whole host of new World Champions. Coaches Matt Price Sensei and Nick Heald Sensei must be feeling very happy with the teams best ever performance. They finished up 2nd in the medal table just behind the Japanese Team with 12 Gold, 6 Silver and 13 Bronze medals. Alan Campbell Sensei must also be very proud of JKS England and the progress the team has made over the last few years.
It is great to be part of such a highly motivated and successful group. The karate at the very top level (especially that of the Japanese competitors) really is the very best in the World. With talent as incredible as Okamoto Sensei, the Someya ladies, Watanabe Sensei, Arimoto Sensei, Toyama Sensei and Nagaki Sensei amongst others, we know that we are definitely in the right place and the future is bright.
Paul Wolstencroft Sensei is relatively new to officiating and was given the opportunity to learn from Yamaguchi Sensei all day. This was a great honour for him and he enjoyed this valuable experience.
We keep on saying this but the same opportunity are there for everyone, no matter what you want to achieve.
You all have the SAME opportunity –
- to compete at the highest level with the JKS England Squad
- to learn how to teach and complete Instructor exams
- to take officials examinations
- to train in Japan ( Rachael Sensei, Connor Cherry and Lori-Ann Moran are all going on the Kangeiko in January)
- to attend Courses with the very best Instructors in the UK and Japan
- The opportunity to grade under Kagawa Sensei who is a legendary Instructor
It is all there for our members, you just have to take advantage of the opportunities you have. Speak to your Instructor if you have been inspired by Grace, Sensei Mike and Sensei Lorraine. Together, we can achieve more! We are the biggest JKS Club in England, we should be having more people taking part in what JKS has to offer.