Varsity Match 2015

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 2015: Cambridge

Team results:

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

On Sunday, 8th February, Cambridge and Oxford clashed again in our annual Varsity match. After coming close to taking the title from us last year, the Oxford Karate team was more determined than ever to put an end to our record-breaking winning streak. Unfortunately for them, we had other plans. In a magnificent 5 – 0 victory, CUKC took all the contested trophies, with particularly wide margins in the Men's A and Mixed B teams. We are especially proud to have returned the Women's A team trophy to Cambridge where it belongs.

CUKC Squad

Head coach: Sensei Richard Poole
President: Amy Oliver
Men's A Captain: Scott Ang
Women's A Captain: Amy Hall
Mixed B Captain: Karol Fiedorczuk

Team Category Members
Men's A Team Individual Kata Rio Yu Zeng
Jonathan Sinclair-Williams
Scott Ang
Ronald Prokes
Team KataJonathan Sinclair-Williams
Scott Ang
Ronald Prokes
KumiteJonathan Sinclair-Williams
Scott Ang
Karol Fiedorczuk
Shinshiro Shinozaki
Women's A Team Individual Kata Justina Ogunseitan
Elisabeth Kerr
Kate Erin
Amy Hall
Team KataJustina Ogunseitan
Elisabeth Kerr
Amy Hall
KumiteKate Erin
Amy Hall
Justina Ogunseitan
Amy Oliver
Mixed B Team Individual Kata Amy Oliver
Daniel Malz
Karol Fiedorczuk
Quang Ha
Team KataDaniel Malz
Karol Fiedorczuk
Rio Yu Zeng
KumiteElisabeth Kerr
Rio Yu Zeng
Daniel Malz
Ronald Prokes
ReservesJaan Toots
James Kenyon
Fergus Walters

Score Summary

Note on new rules:
Following discussions between both sides last year, we amended the category that used to be the Men's B team. Instead, it became the Mixed B team and comprised of 3 men and 1 woman from each side. In addition, we reduced the size of the A teams to 4 people per side.

Individual Kata

In the individual kata event, Jonathan Sinclair-Williams set the standard high by performing the first kata of the day, Empi. He was followed by an Oxford opponent, before Rio Yu Zeng executed a strong Bassai Dai. While Cambridge and Oxford took turns to perform, it soon became clear that Oxford were falling far behind. Scott Ang and Ronald Prokes performed Annan and Gojushiho Sho respectively as the last two members of the Men's A team, sealing our huge lead by taking the top 3 positions between the two of them. The only member from the Oxford team who posed a threat was Carlos Rios Ocampo, who also performed an impressive Gojushiho Sho to draw for the top place with Ronald. This still left the Cambridge Men's A team with a 16 point lead.

The Women's A team had a much tougher fight, with good katas performed on both sides. On the Cambridge team, Justina Ogunseitan opened with a confident performance of Empi, followed by Elisabeth Kerr with a spirited Sochin. Kate Erin then offered some variation in the form of a shito ryu kata, Seienchin, before Amy Hall finished with Empi. Kate and Amy scored particularly well in the individual kata, resulting in a narrow 2 point advantage to Cambridge.

Amy Oliver was the first to perform in the B team. She outdid her Oxford counterpart with Heian Yondan, placing us in an early lead. From there, the rest of the Cambridge team consisting of Daniel Malz who performed Bassai Dai, Karol Fiedorczuk who performed Jion, and Quang Ha who performed Sochin, really flew away with the advantage. They had an impressive 18 point lead by the end of the individual kata event.

Team Kata

In the team kata section of Varsity, CUKC truly outdid itself. The Men's A team and Women's A team performed Empi, while the Mixed B team performed Bassai Dai. Owing to the numerous hours of hard practice that the teams put in, together with specialised coaching from Sensei Richard Poole, all three team kata titles were taken by Cambridge University. The Men's A team and Mixed B team were particularly convincing in their win, while the Women's A team had a narrow shave, beating Oxford by a cumulative score of 0.1! This meant that the Men's A team and Mixed B team would start the kumite section with a whopping 28 point and 30 point lead respectively, while the Women's A team had a narrower but still significant 14 point lead.


In the kumite event the Men's A and Mixed B team further proved their prowess by winning most of the points, while the Women's B team fought hard ending in a draw between both sides.

Men's A team

The first fight of the day was between Scott and Oxford's best fighter, Carlos. After a few spooks by both sides, Carlos went in for a double-step chudan gyaku zuki. Scott avoided this with a back step, before quickly countering with double punches to the face, scoring a clean hit with the second jodan gyaku zuki. With 1 wazari in the lead, Scott put the pressure on Carlos to earn back the point. They clashed several more times, but with neither side able to gain a clean hit. The timer eventually ran out and Scott took the match.

Jonathan fought the next match with Oxford Men's Captain, Michael Pei. He scored barely seconds after the start of the match with a kazama zuki to the head. As if to prove that was no fluke, he scored another point with the same technique short moments later. Then, as Michael came in with a kick, Jonathan tapped his leg causing him to spin, before scoring with a punch to the back. Finally, he scored a chudan gyaku zuki, ending the fight. Shin started off aggressively, scaring his opponent into a defensive stance. After scoring 1 wazari however, he received several fouls for a lack of control in his punches, leading to his disqualification. Karol would make up for this loss by scoring a quick succession of gyaku zukis to win his fight 4 – 0.

In the second round, Oxford was allowed to swap their positions, whereas Cambridge being the home side, stayed in the same fighting order. Scott won a decisive match against Oxford's Michael Pei. Jonathan then had a tough match where both sides struggled to find a clean hit, ending in a draw. Shin, after calming down from his first match, focused on chudan gyuku zukis to great results. He was given several warnings for control, but still triumphed in the end against Oxford's Simon Chelley. Karol then went up against Carlos, and after losing 2 points to him, made up a bit of ground with a gyaku zuki. However, Carlos got the better of him with another wazari before the time ran out, giving the match to Oxford.

Women's A team
In the Women's A team, Kate Erin went up against Izzy Thomlinson from Oxford. She lost an early point to Izzy, but managed to win it back with a well-placed punch. Neither side was able to gain an advantage, ending the match in a draw. Justina Ogunseitan next fought against Corina Gurau, Women's Captain of the Oxford team. There were good attempts by both women, but none of the hits were clean enough to score. Once again, the match ended in a tie. Amy Oliver started her match with fiery attacks, intimidating her opponent into the defensive. However, her non-stop attacks soon tired her out, and by the end of the fight her opponent had regained some ground. The fight also ended in a draw as no points were scored. Amy Hall finally won a decisive victory in her match with 3 points to nothing. Her first punch was a spectacular spike that caught her opponent off-guard and off-balance, causing her to fall to the ground. The next score was a simple and clean chudan gyaku zuki. Lastly, both sides landed with jodan punches, but Amy got there first, giving her a 3rd point.

In the second round, Kate tied with her opponent with no points scored. Justina gave a stellar performance against Oxford's Emily Cliff. She scored her first point with an oi zuki punch to the face. She earned her second score when she pressured her opponent into a corner, and then advanced powerfully leaving her nowhere else to go. Amy Oliver had a tough match against her Oxford opponent. Despite a few close calls, she lost the match by 2 wazaris. Amy Hall fought the last match for the Women's Team against a larger opponent, Izzy Thomlinson. Izzy capitalised on a missed attack by Amy, scoring one wazari. Amy gave her best but was unable to regain the point.

Mixed B team

Elisabeth Kerr kicked off the round for the Mixed B team. She put pressure on her opponent with many attacks, but failed to score a point. Fortunately, her opponent did not score either, ending the match in a draw.

Ronald Prokes was third, and despite being mainly a kata player, he put up a good fight with his opponent. The fight ended with no scores and hence a draw.

Daniel Malz then took to the mat, and made Varsity history! He fought for a grand total of 6 seconds, scoring 2 wazaris almost immediately each time, and winning the shobu ippon fight.

Rio Yu Zeng fought the last match which also ended in a draw as neither side got a clean hit through the other's defences.

A Great Victory!

The conclusion of the kumite event marked the end of the 2015 Varsity match between Oxford and Cambridge University. CUKC took all 5 points, and every trophy that was up for grabs, including the Men's A, Women's A, Mixed B, and overall Enoeda Cup. This is the historic 9th time Cambridge University has won the Varsity match against Oxford. Already, we are setting our eyes on the 10th win next year. Congratulations to all those who participated on Sunday!

Special Thanks

We would like to give our special thanks to the following people:
  • Sensei Richard Poole, Sensei Ken Hori, Paul Smith, Francisco Martinez, Herve Vandekerckhove, and Jerome Singh for helping coach the Varsity Squad.

  • Jane Blunt for helping with first aid.

  • Ken Hori and Tiina Pajuste for manning the main table.

  • James Kenyon, Jaan Toots and Fergus Walers for coming down as reserves.

  • Jaan Toots for taking videos.

  • Dennis Harrison for supplying the photos used in this report.

  • Everyone who came to support us for the match.


View photos of the competition.