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Saturday, August 23, 2008

IJKA European Championships Italy 2008 Pt1

Pt 1 General post and Kata

Rebecca, Helen, Sam and I were joined by Simon from Haxby club on our trip to Italy to compete in the European championships. We took Sensei Keith and Ian from York and Haxby to keep us on the straight and narrow.

We flew out on the Sunday and had Monday and Tuesday as free time. It was useful for Simon, Sam and myself to use this as an opportunity to have Sensei Keith give us some focused competition training. We trained for 2 hours in the morning and afternoon on both days. It kept us out of the sun and got us used to the mats etc.

The girls did their own preparation to ensure they tried to keep injury free, this included the beach and the Irish Bar! I think Helen may have had too many liquids and Rebecca doesn't seem to have her mind on karate.

Above: Helen with Jordon

Jordon has travelled to train at York before and is soon to spend his gap year in Japan. During his time there he will be training with Okazaki Sensei.

Above: Rebecca and Jammie

Jamie's dad, PJ, informed us in Ireland that Jamie would not be competing in Italy. Rebecca never believe what those Irish men tell you!

There was a training course with Sensei Kato and Okazaki on the Wednesday and Thursday followed by the competition on the Friday.

Saturday we enjoyed a trip to Venice.

Above: The Square was particularly busy.

Above: Sam enjoys the sights of Venice

Italy was hot, damn hot. So Sensei decided it would be best to commence training on the Thursday at 06.00hrs on the beach.

The training was lead by Sensei Kato and Okazaki, Sensei Okazaki was focused mainly on Kihon training.
Unfortunately I don't have a good video clip of Sensei Milena from Bulgaria who for her birthday faced a line of over 100 karateka in Ippon Kumite, after she finished she dropped to her knees in exhaustion...happy birthday! P.S. never let Sensei know it is your birthday.

The Friday came round quick and the competition was due to start at 08.30hrs, we thought the Pee Wee grades were going to be on first but no, Rebecca was called up to perform her kata, the first person to perform in the whole competition. Rebecca had been practising her Bassai dai, but then decided to perform Nijushiho at the last minute.

Above: Rebecca's Kata

Young Sam was up next with his kata performance, It was a very big stage to be standing on for an eleven year old and Sam was disappointed that he did not perform as well as he could have. Sam we were all very proud of your efforts, competition is a learning experience, you need to get a few under your belt, then you can get to the stage where you enjoy them.

Above: Sam's Bassai Dai

Next up is Helen, Helen had been suffering with her back all week but still competed, you can see in the video how uncomfortable she looks.

Above: Helen's Kata

I was drawn against Brian Toomey the Irish Chief Instructor in veterans kata, after suffering from the "frozen kata" I was pleased to get to the end with out stopping.

Above: Paul's Bassai Dai

Simon was also drawn against Sensei Brian in the senior kata, it was to be an unfortunate draw for both of us. Simon's performance was commended by a number of the Whitchurch mafia and I think he was unlucky not to beat the IJKA general Secretary.

Above: Simons Kata

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