Varsity Match 2006

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.

Varsity Match 2006

Winners of the Enoeda Cup 2006: Oxford

Team results:

  • Men's A: Oxford
  • Men's B: Oxford
  • Women's: Oxford

This weekend saw the 27th Karate Varsity Match, held this year in Oxford. Unfortunately, the Light Blues suffered some pre-match disappointments, losing two of their top fighters, Konrad Rajab (back injury) and Simon Picot (further damaged right hand) to injury.

Despite a 9am start in Oxford, the Cambridge team started the brighter. First up was the Kata section. Spectacular performances from Simon Picot (21.4), Ian Macleod (21.0) and Tom Auld (20.7) ensured a Cambridge 1,2,3 in the individual Men's A kata. Similarly strong performances in the Women's individual kata, especially Charlotte Gray (21.5), and Men's B kata, resulted in a healthy early Cambridge lead. The team kata went well, both Women and Men's B winning with very impressive showings and Men's A drawing. First half to Cambridge, Men's A leading 41-26, Women leading 28.5-16.5 and Men's B leading 42.5-24.5.

Then the fighting; each fight was a two-minute round, ippon shobu. Unfortunately, despite Cambridge still looking to have the stronger and better fighters, many of the bouts proved to be scrappy affairs, with Oxford edging most of the tight decisions. This resulted in a skewed scoreline that was unrepresentative of the comparative standards of the teams.

In the Men's B team, Charles Bradley, despite facing an opponent several inches taller than him, executed a perfect jodan mawashi geri, which came out of nowhere and was only noticed by his opponent when it tapped him on the head! The kick was deemed to have been slightly technically incorrect and, to the amazement of both Cambridge and Oxford teams, was not scored.

The second half went to Oxford as they won the Men's A team fighting 45-15, Women's 30-10 and Men's B 54-6. This was a greater winning margin than the Cambridge advantage carried through from the kata section and meant an Oxford win overall.


View photos of the competition.