Yesterday Shoujin entered a team of 10 to the CHKA open in Hornchurch. We'd heard that last year the Steadman brothers and their Association ran a tight ship and we weren't disappointed. A greatly organised comp with a high level of competitor entry. Lots of nationally recognised athletes to be found.
The juniors, Cody, Alexander, Valentin and Nathaniel did us proud, unfortunately no medal results but getting impressively better and more confident with every comp. Especially impressed with Alexander and Valentin in Kumite showing some real grit to get through a good couple of rounds just missing out in the medal placings. A completely bewildering referee decision saw Basher lose out in kata. Still cant explain that one as even to the untrained eye it was totally mad decision but nothing could be done. JJ didn't rise to the occasion in his weight category but stepped up in the Open to take a fantastic gold, Mantas had some tough fights and was unlucky in his weight category but took a well deserved bronze. He fought some great fights in the open, missing out on a medal but some great feedback on his fights from the internationals.
Brian Mott took to the tatami for the first time in the para kata category, Showing us all that age or ability is no barrier to get on a Gi and do what you love. It was a shame no medal but a solid performance.
Oana dominated her three bouts up until the, semi final securing a bronze in kumite. Basher fought majestically through 5 rounds to take a fantastic gold in kumite, but competitor of the day has to go to Eimantas Puzneckis, securing gold in his weight / grade category but taking a hard fought bronze in the open against some of the countries toughest. Albeit learning a lesson about wearing the correct protective equipment, it was a magnificent show of karate that sometimes I have to pinch myself to remember he has only been training a couple of years and is grades below many of these athletes. We are proud of the whole team.