KUGB National Championships 2016

The KUGB National Championships are held annually at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham and feature the most talented karateka in the KUGB.

Photos

View photos of the competition.

Competition Report



Cambridge Representatives


Back: Quang Ha
Vlad Soltuz
Marcus Ingham
Petre Nicolescu
Szabo Makai
Francisco Martinez
Herve Vandekerckhove
Paul Smith
Front: Patrick Swain
Tegwen Ecclestone
Ellen Weaver

Saturday 7th May saw a group of eleven ambitious CUKC karateka venture to Birmingham's National Indoor Arena to compete in the 50th Anniversary National Championships of the Karate Union of Great Britain. The arena's atmosphere reflected the excitement and prestige around this event, with an outstanding level of competition exhibited across all areas.

Kata


Tegwen, Marcus and Petre represented CUKC in individual kata. Given a 'bye' in the first round, Tegwen made it successfully through the second round with a performance of Heian Sandan, and was then defeated by Heian Nidan in the third round. Despite strong performances of Heian katas, Marcus and Petre both went out in the first round, demonstrating the challenging level of competition that faced such promising competitors. There was a tense atmosphere among the CUKC team as we observed Petre perform an impressive Heian Yondan, only to falter in the last move.

Although no medals were won in individual kata, Petre, Marcus and Quang qualified for the finals of team kata with performances of Gojushiho Sho in the eliminations and semi final. Each team that performed in the finals was of an incredibly high standard. Placing them was not an easy task. After a dynamic performance of Unsu under the bright stadium lights, Petre, Marcus and Quang brought home a strong bronze medal for Cambridge University Karate Club.



Kumite


With nine Cambridge karateka entered in junior and senior individual kumite events, both male and female, CUKC badges could be spotted fighting and cheering across all areas of the elimination mats. Tegwen, Vlad and Patrick all fought well but were beaten in their first matches. In the junior female category, Ellen won her first match and drew after the first two minutes of her second match. Going into an extra thirty seconds, Ellen's opponent scored with a jodan punch in the final moments, knocking Ellen out of the competition. Cambridge had strong representatives entering the male senior kumite category including Francisco, Herve, Paul and Szabo. They all performed well, progressing through numerous rounds.

However, for our senior male competitors the main event of the day was team kumite. CUKC were entering the competition as seeds with high hopes of holding on to their 2015 title as National Champions. Entering the competition as seeds, they won their first match comfortably. In the semi finals Herve, Francisco and Szabo with Paul as reserve came up against Leeds Shotokan, a team made up of some familiar fighters for CUKC. With members of the KUBG England team on both Cambridge and Leeds teams, competition was tough. Following an excitingly tense display of fighting talent, the Leeds team won by a narrow margain, placing the Cambridge Men's team kumite in bronze position.



As competing drew to a close, the morning competitors celebrated the only way CUKC knows how - a trip to a Birmingham pub for a pint before the finals commenced. Whether it was the first or fiftieth time our competitors had experienced the National Championships, it was a day enjoyed by all - what better break from approaching exam season or everyday Cambridge life than immersing yourself in the best kata, kumite and kiais in the country.