High Peak Kyokushin karate club was crowned as champions at the 2nd East Midlands Tournament, held at Bilborough College, Nottingham.
Injury and illness reducing the entrants to 16 in number, who joined with three other clubs in the region to make a total of almost 50 competitors taking part in Kata, Clicker and Knockdown fighting.
Three categories were available for Kata, and six for each type of fighting, and High Peak had entries in all but one of these, with many students competing in two or even all three events.
The results of the day were summed up by Senpai Pete Appleton, founder and chief instructor at the club: “The main aim of this competition is to encourage people to take part when they have never been in a tournament before, and also to give experience to novices without having to travel to national events.
“As such, a good result for a newcomer is to just get up on the mat and complete the task in hand, thus overcoming the nerves and fear and persevering.
“In my opinion, the student is already a winner by just taking part and I am very proud of anyone who shows the spirit to just get up there.
“Having said this, I was (once again) amazed at the tenacity and subsequent success of my students, some of whom are relatively new to the club and had never even seen a competition before! The end result was an incredible seven first place trophies, ten second place trophies and seven third place trophies, plus the overall best club trophy for the second year running, so a total of 25 trophies were gained by just 16 students.”
Gold went to Rosie Scrase (18) in Senior Kata, just beating teammate Adam Wright (19) who came second.
Perhaps inspired by this, brother Oscar Scrase (14) came second in the Junior Kata and Esme Bumby (ten) gained third.
Fighting was divided into age categories and in the seven and under Clicker, William Tozer (seven) made an amazing competition debut by winning gold after three very determined fights.
A full house then went to High Peak in the next (8-9 years) category, with nine-year-olds Robert Sulley first, Tom Pollak second and Helen Cross third.
Once again, it was a competition debut for Tom and Helen, with Tom so new to the club that he has not even taken a grading yet.
In the 10-12yrs category, wth last year’s winner Elise Neville out due to injury, the only competitor from High Peak was brother Archie.
He was only ten the day before the event and was pitted against a strong field of mostly 12-year-olds from other clubs. He fought bravely and despite getting hurt managed a well deserved third.
Older members of the club cleaned up in the remaining Clicker categories with Oscar Scrase (14) first and Sean Bullas (15) second in their category, Rosie Scrase first and Rene Bailey second in the Senior women’s, and Chris Challoner first, Adam Wright second and Steve Emmerson third in the Senior mens.
Finally, the tournament moved on to Knockdown, the full contact style of fighting that separates Kyokushin from other forms of karate.
Although the juniors wear body armour and helmets, it still takes considerable courage and nerve to enter.
High Peak’s youngest new entrants led the way with William Tozer (seven) gaining second place to give him his second trophy of the day and Ben Pollak (seven) gaining third in his first attempt at this style.
Next up was 8-9 years and once again Robert Sulley (nine) showed how he is developing by claiming second to a far heavier and stronger opponent, and was joined by Helen Cross (nine), who added a third place trophy to her bag.
With Archie Neville the only entrant in the 10-12 category, High Peak had to cede this event to Konju, the host Nottingham club, but all credit must go to his efforts as he gamely fought on despite a leg injury.
Once again, Sean Bullas and Oscar Scrase gained first and second place respectively with an impressive and very spirited demonstration of knockdown.
Sean is a previous British champion in this event but it was Oscar’s first attempt and even Shihan Mac Robertson (6th Dan British Knockdown coach) said Oscar’s performance was highly commendable for a first timer.
Finally, in the adult knockdown, the High peak entrants Adam Tkacz and Steve Emmerson each fought twice, winning one each, giving second place to Adam and third to Steve.
The overall trophy for most club points went to High Peak and bodes well for this year.
More importantly, said Pete Appleton, everyone had a good time and gained experience and knowledge, with no injuries or disputes, showing the true spirit of Kyokushin.
Comments were made by parents and visiting officials about how organised and well run the day had been but the success of the day was summed up by a student of High Peak. After the event, she said: “I just love being part of this club, I wish I could just train all of the time.”