Tallinn in Estonia is a place students from the Kimura Shukokai Karate Kent clubs in the Maidstone area will remember for a long time after returning from the Kimura Shukokai International’s European Open Karate tournament with 3 Gold, 2 Silver and 4 Bronze medals. After months of hard and dedicated training nine students from the club travelled as members of the England Karate squad to the championships, which are held every two years.
After having had to retire from last year’s World tournament due to an injury sustained in the early rounds, Finley Lodge (13) from Hollingbourne fought through several rounds to reach the final of the boy’s kumite event. In that final, against a fellow England teammate, Finley fought with maturity beyond his age to take the cherished Gold medal. He later returned with other Kent Karate students David Pereira and Eloise Moliner to win his second Gold medal in the Cadets team kata competition. In the same category there were three other Kent Karate students, Debra Scamp, William Howell and Kacper Krzykowski on the podium taking the Bronze medal. Eloise also took a hard-earned silver in her individual kumite event with Debra and William taking Bronze in their respective kumite events after both fighting through tough repercharges.
In the adult events Steve Pereira from Sutton Valence fought through all the preliminary rounds to take his place in the final of the veterans over 50s kumite event. In that final he fought a tactically perfect fight beating his Finnish opponent 4-0 thus adding the European title to the World title he won in Berlin in 2016. Sensei Katie Simpson took bronze in the Ladies kumite event and added a silver in the Ladies kata category.
Club instructor Sensei Chris Simpson said “All these students have sacrificed a lot over the last twelve months to concentrate on their training and we and everyone at the club are proud of what they have achieved. We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from the Kent County Playing Fields Association which has assisted in the funding of part of the costs associated with training to achieve these objectives. Without organisations such as the KCPFA talented students would not be able to realise their dreams of competing at the top level”.
There is no rest for these students as preparations will start in December for next year’s World Championships to be held in Stockholm, Sweden in July 2018.
The club runs various classes for students aged from 4 to adults at Kingswood, Lenham, Downswood, Marden and at the Maidstone YMCA and full details can be found at www.kentkarate.co.uk or by calling Chris on 07801639052.