- Matthew Smith
1st HDKI Championships
After a successful first outing at the Legends open earlier in the year, we had been working hard to prepare for our second tournament as a squad. So it was, at 5am we converged on the Rusty Cutter to meet our transport. The AKA subsidised a coach for the journey because we remember fondly the good times we had in the past travelling together to compete and the camaraderie it helps build.
We arrived at the venue in good time and in good spirits. After establishing a base camp it was time to execute our game plan which was a very simple one. Give all our guys some mat time and make sure they all took away something positive. I think it was us as coaches that were the under prepared ones on the day as our expectations were superseeded as wins came early, and kept coming . Both kata and kumite, individual and team. There were some very seasoned competitors in attendance, and the AKA stood toe to toe with them and gave their all. Sensei’s Powell, Galloway, Williams and myself were the only ones to pick up injuries. Jaw ache from smiling so much.
There were many noticable performances on the day, this blog could easily become a volume. I will mention a couple however such as Wil Newman who on his very first comp, became grand champion in the 6th to 4th kyu mens catagory. Seren Evans who won the cadet ladies kumite. Mike Smallpage who took gold in the mens black belt kumite and Ionut Hentea who took a respectable 3rd place in the mens black belt kata.
The event itself was very well run. Although only two areas, the day flowed really well with hardly any hanging around. The referees were very competent as was Sensei Scott Langley who was in overall control of the event. Sensei Chris Carr travelled as part of our squad, and worked hard all day refereeing. Its always great having him onboard. Chris has been there and done it, and we always value his input. The Birch’s, Maggie Evans, Gill james, Amy Harrod and Laurence David were there to support us all and make sure everybody was fed and watered. We were very grateful for this as it allowed us to concentrate on coaching of our guys. Afterwards, we took over a chinese resteraunt for a much needed refuel and unwind before climbing back aboard the bus to sing and laugh our way back home. We rolled in just after 10pm, and still spirits were high.
Regan Evans. 2nd sibling kata 2nd kumite
Harry Birch. Through 3 rounds of kata
Jade Ivey. Through 2 rounds of kata
Jack Arnold. 2nd round of kumite
Chloe Jafkins. Owned her nerves and fought in kumite
Seren Evans. 2nd sibling kata 1st kumite
Bethany Arnold. 3rd kumite
Oscar Hughes. 2nd kumite
Ciara Daniels. 3rd kumite
Wil Newman. 1st kumite 1st kata (Grand Champion)
Mike Smallpage. 1st kumite
Amber Harrod. 3rd kumite
Ionut Hentea. 3rd kata
Every member of the team made a positive step today. We are immensely proud of you all. A huge well done to team AKA, and a great big thankyou to everyone who made this happen. Whether a medalist or not, each member of the squad progressed. Ride that wave of success and stay sharp because it will soon be time to do it all again. Oss.