Wadokai World Cup Report 2015

 Day 1

After months of hard work and preparation the parents and students finally arrived at Birmingham Airport to begin their dream of competing in Japan. After connecting at Frankfurt airport we would reach Nagoya Japan in around 11 hours. On arriving the heat and humidity was really extreme and a baptism of fire for the athletes, plenty of fluids was the call of the day. Once settled in at the Nagoya Hilton hotel, it was time to do some exploring, we all went along to an open air festival at Nagoya castle, watching Japanese dancing and parents enjoyed themselves trying the local Japanese drinks.

Day 2
Students trained for 2 hours from 8am to 10pm, the hotel was good enough to allow us to use the roof top tennis courts for free, students went through their paces with an hours Kata and an hours Kumite training with Sensei Steve. More sightseeing visiting the Nagoya aquarium and a local shrine and finding a local British pub to relax in the evening.
 
Day 3 Travelling to Tokyo on the Bullet train to train with and meet up with the rest of the squad and train under the JKF Kata coach Sensei Okumachi in his Japanese dojo. This was an excellent technical session, in a cauldron of a dojo. It was really good to train alongside Japanese students in their own dojo.
Shopping in Tokyo with the students afterwards, looking at endless trainer shops for a few hours afterwards the course. In my day it was a pair of White Dunlops and that was your lot! Bullet train back to Nagoya for an early night ready for registration the next day.
 
Day 4
90 minutes training in the tennis courts from 8am to 9.30 am focusing on Kata and Kumite. Then taking the Taxi to the venue for the weigh in and registration. 
We arrive early and get the chance to practice on the mats and familiarise ourselves with the venue. Time for the students to really focus on the competition the next day.
Lyle Moore's 21st Birthday celebrated with parents with a traditional Japanese meal, sitting on the floor, absolutely beautiful food. An early night ready for the big day ahead of us tomorrow.
 
Day 5 
Seven of our students were competing in Japan for the first time, this was going to be a very special day for the students, parents and for myself and Selina.The judges were definitely pro Japanese with many scoring techniques being ignored completely. But it has to be said the Japanese competitors were pure quality, in Kata and Kumite, they were a joy to watch. Take a look at the 3 10 year old girls performing a Kata display on our You tube channel to see how good they were at such a young age.
 
The overall standard was very high with the Japanese dominating all of the medals in both Kata and Kumite. As we had been warned beforehand the Japanese style of fighting is very direct and quick, making it very difficult to score points against them. The Kata was excellent with the Japanese really showing their quality of technique. Several of the Japanese Kumite squad are members of their elite national team with their coach being Seishii Nishimura Sensei who is an absolute legend in the Karate world. 
 
Isaac Mulvaney, Callum Healey and Shriya Puri all came away with a Bronze Medal in Kata, which was a fantastic achievement at Wadokai World level Karate.
Callum got a bye 1st round, then performed an excellent Kushanku under a lot of pressure to get through to the next round, Callum had to stand on the mat for 15 mins as his Hungarian opponent was disqualified for performing the wrong kata, which added further pressure on him. Reaching the final against an excellent Japanese opponent, again Callum performed a very good Kata but the Japanese won all of the flags taking Gold, leaving Callum to take Bronze.
 
Isaac performed an excellent Kushanku going through to the next round, performing Jion in the final against yet another quality Japanese opponent, the Japanese took Gold with Isaac being awarded joint Bronze with Callum. A fantastic result for both students i couldn't have been happier.
 
Shriya performed an excellent Kushanku against a very poor opponent, Shriya won easily getting all of the flags, Shriya was in the Final against a Japanese opponent as with all of the others the Japanese girl was superb, leaving Shriya to take Bronze, i was so pleased for Shriya to get a world Bronze medal this was a real achievement.
 
In the Kumite Shriya fought very well against a real quality opponent, taking a hard punch in the face and a hard kick in the stomach, winding her half way through. As usual Shriya did her best but unfortunately went out first round. It is difficult for our female fighters to progress as in England the categories are embarrassingly small due to the politics that has ripped karate apart, the females who are competing are usually top international fighters or low level beginners there doesnt seem to be enough inbetween females for fighters to gradually improve. 
 
Liam Uppal put on an excellent performance winning his first fight and going out to a quality Japanese fighter in the next round. Liam also surprised himself in the kata getting through rounds, but eventually going out to a Japanese competitor
 
Sukjheevan Dhillon also put on a great display fighting really confidently and was lucky not to go through to the next round. Sukjheevan did really well in his kata performing an excellent Kushanku but didnt get through to the finals.
 
Harry Scott fought really well in his first round, but went out in the next round to yet another quality Japanese fighter, Harry was concussed taking a hard kick to the head in the last few seconds of the fight. Harry showed how much he has progressed in the past year, if he stays focused he will be an excellent fighter for the future.
 
Anisha didn't fight well in her fight, as her mind was on the Kata, which she had primarily come to Japan for. Usually Kata is before Kumite (Fighting), which allows kata students to focus on their chosen discipline first without risk of injury, this was not the case in Japan. When it came to her kata, Anisha got a really unlucky draw going out against the Japanese World Champion in round one.
 
 Anisha got another chance of a medal after coming away with a Bronze Medal in the ladies team. Although she never got to fight as the first 2 team members lost their fights, Anisha was awarded a Bronze Medal in Kumite. After putting 14 years of her life into her Karate training, being our most successful female athlete ever in both Kata and Kumite, this was a just reward for a very special athlete.
 
The WKE England squad as a whole brought back 19 medals in total this was a great result for all of the coaches involved both in Kata and Kumite. Sakagami Sensei said how proud of the squad he was.
 
For me personally it is the first time i have coached at a World Championships and took a group of parents so far afield to Japan. I learned allot regarding preparation both physically and mentally for our athletes, both in Kata and Kumite. 
 
 In terms of quality of our competitors, we haven't got a pool of hundreds of students with fantastic ability coming forwards to compete for us, it is very much about creating winners out of whoever turns up to compete for us whatever their ability to start with. But over the years i have been surprised many times that students who keep trying, listening, practicing, working hard, dealing with failure and believing in their selves can achieve great things in the Karate world going ahead of the so called natural ability students, as many of these give up when the going gets tough.
 
All in all a very satisfying campaign, its been so many firsts this year for our club, we've been on the telly on the BBC we've been on the Radio on Radio WM, we've come away with 4 Bronze medals at a World Cup. Ime pretty proud of what we have achieved in 23 years. Of course Selina is the one who is the unsung hero, who brought the 3 kids up whilst i was teaching every night and day and sat in on all of the classes organising the kids and parents. This was pre instructors when we did everything ourselves,  Kombat kids would be nowhere near as successful as it is today without Selina's effort for the past 23 years I owe her a lot for her support, advice, guidance and work ethic. Many women have to balance a career with bringing up the kids and trying to be successful in both areas this is no easy thing to achieve.
 
The whole of the first week was taken up by the tournament, the second week we travelled on by Bullet train onto Kyoto and Hiroshima for sightseeing with several of our parents. Kyoto is a fantastic place with many Temples, Shrines, shops and is a really interesting place. Hiroshima again is a really important place to visit, and was a really moving experience visiting the peace park and the Memorial museum. 
we also went to a Baseball game, the number one sport in Japan to see the Hiroshima Toya carp versus the Yomuiri Giants from Tokyo. We sat with the away fans, singing songs with the Japanese, the stadium, atmosphere was superb, again a highlight of the trip.
 
A strange thing happened in Kyoto, i walked into a jazz bar and a guy kept staring at me, i asked him if he was ok, and he said my name "Steve" I said "what", he then said Sensei, he was a student Ravi Pachchigar who i hadn't seen for around 15 years ago from my classes in Walsall. He was travelling round the world with his new wife. It was great to see them both, but what are the odds on that happening. The World really is a small place.
 
The Japanese were extremely courteous, polite and could not be more accommodating in the hotels, Temples etc. If you ever get the opportunity to visit Japan definitely go i guarantee you will have a fabulous time. 
 
Thank you to all of the parents who contributed towards the sponsorship, of the squad
Thank you to www.uknutrilabs.com who sponsored the squad
Thank you to the parents and students who made the whole trip such an enjoyable experience.
 
For pictures, videos of the trip go to our web site Kombatkids.com in the news section. for our Facebook page and our you tube channel featuring videos of the students competing. 

Sensei Steve Moore 5th Dan 

WKF English Karate Federation