The Varsity Match 2024

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.

Competition Report

Image credit: Nirmay Jadhav

Image credit: Emma Shen

On Saturday the 2nd of March, the Cambridge University Karate Club faced off against Oxford University Karate Club for the annual and highly-anticipated Varsity match. This took
place at the Oxford Sports Centre at Iffley Road.

The stakes were higher than ever this year, as Cambridge was going for their 18th consecutive win against Oxford and were more willing than ever to prove that they are, and always have been, the superior karate club.

The competition started at 1:30pm with individual kata. The men’s category was first, with our amazing men’s team composed of Nirmay, Jack, Dani and Lukas performing absolutely brilliant katas. Oxford, however, put up a very strong fight with their kata selection, beating
Cambridge marginally by 2 points (Oxford: 22 points, Cambridge: 20 points).

Women’s individual kata was next. This year was different from last year as Oxford did manage to bring a team full of women, which meant that Cambridge had some real competition this time. Our women’s team, with Rose, Ayako, Elizabeth and Angela, absolutely smashed it out the park, with very strong kata performances all around. Although the Oxford women’s team tried their best, Cambridge women’s team beat them by 22 points, securing a big win for Cambridge on the individual kata side (Oxford: 10 points, Cambridge:
32 points). A landslide victory for the women!

Mixed team individual kata was then up, with amazing performances all around. Millie, Yusuf, Jake and Luka all did wonderful katas, and performed very well. The mixed team on the whole were brilliant. Millie scored the highest kata of the day with her Chatan Yara
Kusanku, with a score of 21.8. Oxford’s team lost out by 18 points to the Cambridge mixed team, securing yet another win for Cambridge (Oxford: 12 points, Cambridge: 30 points).

All of our individual performances were spectacular and Cambridge really showed Oxford how brilliant their kata competitors are!

Team kata was up next, and all three of the Cambridge teams did incredibly well. The men’s team kata, however, sadly lost by 0.1 points to Oxford’s men team kata - an incredibly tight call. Cambridge’s women’s team kata beat Oxford’s women with a great performance of Jitte
against their Jion. The Cambridge mixed team kata performed an amazing Kanku Dai, beating Oxford’s mixed team kata of Bassai Dai.

Team kumite was the final category of the day. Men’s team kumite consisted of Callum, Jack, Joshua and Jake. In the first round, Callum, Joshua and Jake put up an impressive fight, but unfortunately lost to their respective Oxford opponents. Jack put in great effort, which ended in a tie with his opponent, securing 3 points for Cambridge. In the second round, after an
impressive show of fights, Callum beat his opponent, gaining 6 more points for Cambridge. A shout out to Dani who stepped in for Jake after he was injured in the first round!

Women’s first round of team kumite was next, with Ayako, Rose, Millie and Maya competing.

Our women were all absolutely amazing and showed great spirit throughout the entirety of the fights. In the first round, Millie and Ayako both won their fights, earning 6 points each for
Cambridge. In the second round, Millie and Ayako won their fights again, with Rose and Maya tying with their opponents.

Mixed team kumite saw Deepthi, Nirmay, Luca and Lukas competing. After some intense and exciting fights, Deepthi and Nirmay both won their round, which concluded the competition for the day. All of our fighters showed great spirit throughout the entire kumite tournament and we are super proud of them!

The overall points were:
Men’s A:
- Cambridge: 20
- Oxford: 34
- Cambridge: 9
- Oxford: 39

Women’s A:
- Cambridge: 44
- Oxford: 10
- Cambridge: 30
- Oxford: 18

Mixed B:
- Cambridge: 42
- Oxford: 12
- Cambridge: 24
- Oxford: 24

- Men’s Trophy Winner: Oxford
- Women’s Trophy Winner: Cambridge
- Mixed Trophy Winner: Cambridge
Overall Winner: Cambridge

A massive thank you to all of the support from our spectators who travelled to see us and
cheer us on, the referees and judges, those who tabled, Oxford’s karate committee for
organising, our coach Sensei Ken, and our President and Captains.

Well done everyone, and a big congratulations for securing our 18th consecutive win!

Report by Elizabeth Li, CUKC Women’s Captain 2023-24.


Winner of the Varsity 2024: