Since its foundation over 30 years ago members of CUKC have competed with great success at student, regional, national and international level, and competition is firmly grounded as one of the most important parts of life at the club. Training for competition centres around Monday night squad sessions, where the squad train for competition kumite (both shobu ippon and WKF), Friday nights, which are informal sparring sessions, and Thursday nights, which are for kata training.
This page catalogues the many competitive achievements of the club since the late 1980s. If you are able to help fill in the gaps before 2000, please get in touch with the webmaster.
The KUGB National Championships are held annually at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham and feature the most talented karateka in the KUGB.
On Saturday 4th of May 2013, seven members of CUKC – Francisco, Herve, Aligi, Petre, Quang, Marc and Lucian - attended the 47th KUGB National Championship in National Indoor Arena, Birmingham. This is the biggest and most prestigious events of KUGB, with really high-quality competitors.
The first event of the day was Individual Kata, in which Petre, Quang and Lucian competed. Despite giving their best performances Quang and Lucian were knocked out after the second round of eliminations. Petre succeeded in going further but didn’t make it to the medals.
However, all the spotlights of CUKC’s performance were mainly focused on kumite. Herve, with a stunning performance, beat several seasoned opponents to make his way to the semi-finals. Unfortunately, Francisco and Aligi could not manage to achieve the same thing, although Francisco performed a brilliant ora-mawashi geri jodan. Sadly neither the referee or the mirror judge appeared to notice.
In the team kumite event there were two teams from CUKC. The B Team of Quang, Marc, and Lucian started the first fight of the category. All the members fought with great determination but lost to a very strong kumite team from Leeds Shotokan.
The A Team – Francisco, Herve, Aligi and Petre – on the other hand, did amazingly. They fought really well and defeated other teams convincingly to make their way to the final. In their match against the seeds Bargoed, at 1 match to each team, Aligi stepped on to the matt to face a long time Welsh International competitor Mathew Hook. Aligi triumphed with two well-timed gyaku zuki punches to ensure a CUKC victory and a place in the finals.
In the senior men’s individual kumite Herve used his punching and kicking combinations to great effect to gain a place in the semi-finals . In the afternoon, the finals began at 4pm. Herve started his fight with amazing spirit and sharp techniques. However, he lost against the competitor who later on became the champion.
The last event of the whole day was the Male Team Kumite, in which CUKC Team A managed to get to the final fight against Hailwood who have won the championship on many previous occasions and whose entire team consist of senior England team members. Herve started the fight with speed and power, consequently he managed to strike a waza-ari. After that, he received many blows from his opponents and unluckily for him, his opponent managed to equalise waza-ari. Herve ended his fight with a well-earned draw.
Francisco – CUKC Team A’s captain – did a magnificent job in his fight. He was facing the competitor who had just won the gold medal in the Senior Individual Kumite a couple of minutes before. The Hailwood fighter scored waza-ari with a chudan punch. Francisco gained the upper hand and dominated his opponent with ashi barai and double punching techniques. With amazing speed and power, he was able to land a jodan punch which although well controlled landed his opponent flat on his back and scored ippon gaining an ippon win for the CUKC Team A.
In his last fight, Aligi started really well and kept the distance, as well as throwing appropriate attacks. He anticipated his opponent and scored chudan zuki. Unfortunately, his opponent managed to find an opening and performed a very precise Jodan Mawashi Geri, gaining Ippon. This made the overall match an absolute draw. Hence, there would be one more extra match to determine the winner. This was for two minutes.
After a brief discussion with Sensei Richard Francisco was back on the field for the extra fight. With great attitude, Francisco entered the match, knowing that he had to win this very important fight for CUKC to triumph. He started throwing attacks at his opponent. However, the competitor from Hailwood was in the same league as Francisco (both members of the England team), so they ended up with both parties gaining a waza-ari after the end of the extra match.
The judges indicated a draw and so a one minute extension was announced.
With both competitors trading blows the judging panel were unable to reach a decision and so gave another draw.
The rules state that in exceptional circumstances a final minute extension can be given. After this a decision must be reached. Despite being injured and exhausted from previous fights, Francisco demonstrated his commitment to winning by attacking his opponent with a variety of techniques. At the end of the minute with no scores having been given evidently two of the judges favoured Francisco and two his opponent. The referee Sensei Sherry felt unable to decide and therefore in an exception to the competition rules decided that both competitors would have to fight for a further minute.
Following medical attention to the cuts on his nose and face Francisco faced his opponent knowing that he could only use one hand to punch, the other having been damaged earlier in the match. Both competitors were exhausted and following many exchanges, Francisco was caught with a chudan punch which won the match for his opponent.
This resulted in a silver medal for the senior men’s team kumite.
Many senior instructors and seasoned spectators agreed that this was the most exciting senior men’s team final for many years.
Team Kumite – A Team (Francisco, Herve, Aligi, Petre): Silver Medal
Individual Senior Kumite – Herve: Bronze Medal
View photos of the competition.
The Varsity Match is an annual competition between the karate clubs of Cambridge and Oxford Universities. In the match, which is usually held in February, two men's teams and a women's team from each university compete in kata, team kata and kumite for the three team titles and the overall trophy, the Enoeda Cup.
Winners of the Enoeda Cup 2013: Cambridge
See the full report.