WKU Nationals 25 November 2018
Six Clevedon students stepped up to compete in the Western Karate Union's National Invitation competition at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre on Sunday. Results were varied, but to us they are all champions for going out there and doing it. Well done all!
Riley (fourth from right) has done this before, and looks confident as he lines up for the Shobo Jukuren "demonstration of skill" against the dummy.
He sets about the dummy with gusto, and wins his first round contest.
He's edged out in the second round, but has clearly improved, and will get better.
Callum is in a category of four, so is guaranteed a bronze medal.
However, he doesn't settle for that. In the semi-final he produces a strong Pinan Nidan to go through to the final.
It's another good performance in the final...
... but he's up against a very good opponent, and doesn't quite manage to get past him.
He walks away with a silver medal, however, for his efforts...
...from a category containing competitors of a very high quality for their grades.
Louis steps up for higher kyu grades kata, and is soon airborne...
...landing in nice style.
His technique is, as ever, strong, but everyone in this category is well on the way to a black belt, and he doesn't get past his first opponent.
George (far right) bows in for his kata category.
George also has competition experience, and pulls out his best Pinan Godan.
He is also up against a talented opponent, however, and doesn't get the flags.
Riley is first up for Clevedon in the youngest kata category.
A strong Pinan Nidan takes him through to the second round.
Cassidy is also in this category...
... and rules the mat from the moment she steps on to it, easily progressing.
Riley bows in for his second round contest.
His confidence is growing by the minute...
... and he takes the flags to go through to the semi-final!
Cassidy performs probably the most difficult Pinan kata to do well, Shodan, throughout the category...
... and outperforms opponents attempting easier katas, here joining Riley in the semis.
Meanwhile, on another mat, Adam makes his competitive debut, producing Pinan Sandan.
It's a big occasion for him, and he doesn't make it through, but he will have learned plenty from the experience.
Cassidy rolls on unstoppably in the younger age category.
She makes easy progress into the final.
Could we have an all-Clevedon final? Riley steps up in the other semi-final, and gives it everything he's got. He's edged out, however.
Cassidy produces yet another crisp, strong performance for the final...
... and, as with every other round, takes all three flags.
Riley is awarded a thoroughly deserved bronze medal, his first in competition.
Cassidy has successfully defended her title, and receives another gold for her collection.
Big smiles at the end of Clevedon's most successful category of the day. No-one can remember us collecting two medals in the same category before.
It takes guts to step up for kumite, and Louis provides them for Clevedon.
He gives it his absolute best...
... but his experienced opponent knows too much, and is able to pick him off.
Clevedon's medal-winners show off their silverware. And their goldware and bronzeware.
It's not all about winning though. Louis responds to his first round defeats, not by leaving in a sulk, but by sticking around for another two hours to watch the senior kata and kumite, to see what he can learn for next time. That is what a true competitor is made of.