Kent’s Karate Kings

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By Russell N on 30.3.2023

Kent’s Karate Kings

Many people are probably unaware but UoK has a glorious history at BUSA in karate, the club here was unrivalled for a substantial period at the yearly competition, boastting members who would go on to become world champions. Times have changed, but our aspirations remain intact, UoK Karate Club is now of a more modest size than what it once was, but we proved last year that we were still capable of greatness, bringing back a substantial quantity of medals from the championships. This year we went again, hoping for similar success.

Our efforts were hindered from the very start however, with a logistical nightmare and the withdrawal of some of our most promising competitors. Thanks to the tremendous effort on behalf of our treasurer we managed to field a small but hopeful team of 5 who made their way to Sheffield.

The largely inexperienced group found it difficult to make progress in the first day however; small mistakes and hesitations in the performances of sequences in the Kata section denying the team any rewards. The start of the individual fights, or Kumite on the second day was set to be different however. The inexperience showed through to start with, with several of the junior members disappointingly being knocked out in the first round. A controversy also formed when our most senior female competitor lost her fight due to a number of unfair decisions by the judges, who failed to reward the punches that even her opponent acknowledged her to have landed.

Despite this our team captain, Mohammad Reza (3rd Dan) proved to be worthy of his title, defeating his first opponent in relative ease with a number of swift kicks to the head before earning victory in a difficult bout in the following round. Finding himself in the final he used his agility and speed to outmanoeuvre his opponent from Kings College landing a number of clean punches – despite this he soon found himself on the defensive and was rewarded for his rival’s lack of control, winning the fight 5-4 and deservedly taking home gold for the University. This was a great achievement and vindicated everyone’s efforts at the event, which we hope to return to next year with a full team. It also earned Mohammad a place in the European Karate Federation competition this summer, so we wish him luck.


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