KUGB Central Regions Championships 2017

The KUGB Central Regions Championships is held annually during the competition-filled Lent Term. The competition is open to all KUGB affiliated clubs in the centre of the country and is held in Chesterfield.


View photos of the competition.

Competition Report

On Saturday 11th March, a team of 15 karate-ka represented CUKC in the Central Region Championships that took place in Chesterfield. The team was entering with confidence having triumphed victoriously less than a week early in our Varsity match against Oxford.

The first event of the day was male team kumite. With an A, B and C team entered, Cambridge had high hopes of domination. The ‘A’ team, or young bloods, was made up of outgoing and incoming mens captains, Vlad Soltuz and Stephen Ducray, and outgoing president Michael Jones. Their first match was against a team from Ipswich Higashi. With the fight taking place at the same time as that of the ‘B’ team, you could hear CUKC voices cheering throughout the competition area. Stephen brought the first win of the day with two quick jodan zuki waza-aris. Vlad’s match started off with each competitor landing one clean hit a piece. The fight went on with both opponents struggling to find an opportunity to score clean hit, but Vlad was eventually bested with a jodan zuki. Michael fought an evenly matched round that ended in a draw, holding his ground well in front of his opponent. It came down to Stephen to take on the decisive match, facing Vlad’s previous opponent. With both sides having fought well, the match went again to the karateka from Ipswich.

The ‘B’ included Andrew Woodford, Herve Vandekerckhove and Donatas Jurkevicius, all three eager to bring back the Men’s Team Kumite title after last year’s team positioned 2nd. Facing Solihull as their first opponents, doing so would be no easy feat. Andrew lost to the previous Senior Men’s Individual Kumite winner, holding his own well nonetheless. Herve was quick to win his match in a rather characteristic fashion. Donatas kept the pressure up on his opponent but unfortunately narrowly missed scoring throughout the fight, leaving his opponent with a 1-0 win.

Petre Nicolescu, Sebastian Mueller and Marcus Ingham were the final CUCK members to enter the Male Team Kumite event. Petre went first, establishing an early lead with a mawashi geri chudan. His opponent quickly retaliated with a waza-ari of his own before decisively winning the match with a jodan punch. Sebastian fought a balanced fight, with both karateka scoring one waza-ari each. Marcus started off his match aggressively, bringing the team back into the competition with a sharp jodan ippon. With the overall round ending in a draw, it was up to Marcus to pull the team through to the next round, which he handily managed to do. In the semi-finals they faced against the same Ipswich Higashi team and proceeded to win quite comfortably with a 2-0 win overall. They met Solihull in the finals, where they performed to an exceptionally high standard once again. Petre scored with a jodan zuki waza-ari early into his match. With neither side able to find another clear opportunity, the fight ended on the 2 minutes mark giving Cambridge the first win. Sebastian stepped on the mat with relatively slim chances of winning, facing the same opponent Andy had in the first round. Regardless, he fought with great confidence. To everyone’s surprise and excitement, he managed to tilt the odds in his favour with a well-timed jodan punch. The karateka from Solihull retaliated with two waza-aris giving him the win, but arguably Sebastian did not give him an easy time in doing so and fought to a very high standard. Marcus was determined to bring back the decisive match. With both competitors fighting equally well, the Solihull karateka was the first to score with a jodan zuki. Marcus quickly replied with a similar technique, evening up the score. With another well aimed jodan punch, it seemed that the result had been decided. However, the hit was deemed to be too rough by the judges and a contact warning was given instead, leaving the match to end in a draw. With an overall 1-1 draw and Solihull having obtained the decisive 2 waza-aris win, they received the Men’s Team Kumite title.

Female team kumite represented by Ellen Weaver, Nivedita Sarveswaran and Tegwen Ecclestone was the next event. There were four teams entered in the competition, and the women were determined to take the top spot. Their first fight was against a team from South Notts. Ellen won her first fight comfortably with two jodan punches against a less experienced, junior competitor. Tegwen faced an opponent she had come up against in competition before, but had never before managed to beat. Making the team victory even sweeter, Tegwen ended the fight with two waza-aris marking a change in her competition history. Niv did well to score a gyakku zuki chudan against her much taller opponent, but was ultimately defeated. However, the women had done enough to get through the finals. In the final, Cambridge faced a team from Warwick University. Changing the fighting order, Niv was first on the mat against a much taller purple belt competitor. Niv fought with aggression, keeping her opponent on her toes, but ultimately was defeated. The team needed to win the next two fights if they were going to take gold. Ellen won her fight comfortably with two jodan punches, and Tegwen did the same. The women took the female team kumite trophy with style and with ease.

Ellen Weaver competed in 16-20 female junior individual kumite. The competition was carried out as a round robin of two pools of three. Ellen won her first fight confidently with two waza-aris from punch combinations. Her second fight was quick, as she scored an ippon from two consecutive scoring techniques. Ellen won her final in less than 20 seconds, scoring two jodan punches, making her the junior female individual kumite champion.

In men’s junior kumite (18-20), the event format was carried in the same manner as was for the female counterpart above. Vlad won his first round by decision, after a close fight where both sides had scored one waza-ari each leading into a rather uneventful extra minute. His second fight was won with relative ease after landing two chudan zuki’s. In the final, Vlad met the same opponent from Ipswich that he had met in team kumite, stepping on the mat determined to win. He managed to score a clean chudan punch early in the match and was able to land an undefended kura zuki jodan, being awared ippon and winning the event.

Sebastian Mueller also competed in the senior kyu grades kata event, where he quite dominantly outperformed the competition. In the final, he was met by an equally determined opponent who managed to establish a lead with a quick waza-ari. However, Sebastian did not back down and in the second minute of the fight balanced the score again with a clean chudan zuki. He did not stop there, finishing the fight neatly with a well-executed jodan punch and securing the gold medal.

The Senior Dan Grade Kumite event in particular was heavily dominated by CUKC members, with nearly half of the competitors representing the squad from Cambridge. Stephen was unfortunate to lose early into the event. Donatas quite comfortably won his matches, proceeding to the semi-finals. Marcus and Petre faced against each other in the second round. Although they are known in the club for their exceptional kata, they delivered a sharp and entertaining fight from which Marcus emerged victorious. Michael and Andy also met after having won their first rounds leading into a very closely fought match. With the fight ending in a draw and no clean hit landed during the extra minute, the round went to Andy by decision. On the other mat, Herve had no difficulty fighting his way to the semi-finals. The first semi-final had to be decided against Donatas and Marcus. They both fought well, but Donatas’ experience and calm put him in a much more favourable spot and managed to secure a waza-ari and the overall win. Herve met Andy, with the former quickly landing a jodan zuki ippon and moving on to the finals. Knowing each other all too well from training sessions, the two kumite veterans fought with great apprehension yet explosive attacks. The finals was fought as a shobu sanbon match, with Donatas being the first to score with a jodan punch. He later on received two contact warnings, putting him in a rather tight spot. Both Herve and Donatas managed to score once more, with the latter still in the lead by one waza-ari. Unfortunately, the fight ended early as Donatas was given a final hansoku penalty resulting in his disqualification. He received the silver metal while Herve was awarded gold after a final where both competitors proved remarkable skill.

Tegwen Ecclestone entered senior female individual kumite, but lost her first fight against the woman who ultimately came second in the competition. Tegwen also entered senior individual female kata and performed a strong Nijushihosho in the first round, progressing to the final. In the final Tegwen performed a silver medal Sochin, being narrowly beaten to the top spot by her kumite nemesis.

Philip Rupp and Sebastian Mueller represented the CUKC in men’s kyu grade kata. They both performed Bassai Dai in the qualifying round to a high standard. Unfortunately only Philip managed to progress to the following stages of the event where he executed his kata equally well. Having reached the finals, the 4th kyu karateka managed to bring back a well-deserved bronze medal after a strong rendition of Heian Godan.

In the final male event, the competitors were lining on the mat to perform their katas in the senior category. Michael, Marcus and Petre represented the CUKC in this event. Michael performed Bassai Dai to a high standard, however the competition proved notably rough and did not manage to progress. Petre stepped on the mat confidently, delivering a sharp rendition of Sochin that would allow him to the next round. Marcus, colloquially known amongst his fellow CUKC members as ‘the baker’ (because his kata is so damn fresh) did an exceptional performance of Enpi, comfortably progressing onwards in the event. In the final qualifier rounds, they both performed the same katas to a fantastic standard, putting them at the top of their pool. In the finals, both Marcus’ and Petre’s kata of choice was Unsu. With all competitors producing sharp katas, scoring them would not be easy for the judges. However, Marcus stood out from the others with an astonishing score of 34.2, an entire half point ahead of the second place score. Petre narrowly missed tying with silver medallist by 0.1 points, but still received a well-deserved bronze medal.

Iulia Comsa and Parwana Fayyaz, 8th kyu, made their competition debut entering the Female Kyu Grade Kata competition. Both Iulia and Parwana made it through the first round with renditions of Heian Yondan. Iulia then progressed through the competition to the finals, beating a number of significantly higher grades on the way. In the final, Iulia lined up alongside three other women 3rd kyu and above. Iulia did a fantastic perfomance of Heian Nidan once again, placing third overall. At a number of stages of the competition different referees praised Iulia on the standard of her kata, congratulating her for her success.

With 6 gold medals, 3 silver and 5 bronze brought back to Cambridge, the competition ended quite successfully for the CUKC squad. Congratulations to all the competitors and many thanks to Sensei Richard and all the instructors for their invaluable help leading towards the competition.


Ellen Weaver (Women's Captain): Gold Junior Ind. kumite, Gold Ladies Team kumite
Vlad Soltuz (Men's Captain): Gold Junior Ind. kumite
Marcus Ingham: Gold Senior Men's Individual kata, Silver Team Kumite Bronze Senior Men's Ind. Kumite
Sebastian Mueller: Gold Mens Indi Kyu Grade kumite, Silver Team Kumite
Herve Vandekerckhove: Gold Senior Men's Ind. Kumite
Tegwen Ecclestone: Silver Women's Ind Kata, Gold Women's Team Kumite
Donatas Jukevicius: Silver Senior Men's Ind. Kumite
Petre Nicolescu: Bronze Senior Men's Ind Kata, Silver Men's Team Kumite
Andy Woodford: Bronze Senior Men's Ind Kumite
Niv Sarveswaran: Gold Ladies Team Kumite
Iulia-Maria Comsa: Bronze Women's Kyu Grade Ind. Kata
Philip Rupp: Bronze Men's Kyu Grade Ind. Kata
Michael Jones
Stephen Ducray
Parwana Fayyaz