Federation European Wadokai Championships, Sat 1st & Sun 2nd November
We would like to congratulate Lewis Muldown, Joe Flounders & Daniel Spires who competed as part of the Wadokai England team. Results: Daniel – GOLD in Team Kata, Joe – SILVER in Kumite, Lewis – SILVER in Kata. Well done guys. Those interested in trying for the England squad in 2015 need to speak to Sensei Carl or Amy ASAP.
EKF Northern Region Squad Training, Saturday 15th November
We were pleased once again to host the English Karate Federation Northern Squad training at our Dojo HQ. A number of fighters have no doubt been taking a well deserved break after a busy season so the attendance was a little down on the other sessions this year but the fighters were still put through their paces and given some fantastic coaching. We’re really looking forward to the next one!
Club Only AUTUMN Championships, Sunday 23rd November
We’ve posted the results on this blog already and will add photos of the day asap.
Sensei Keith Walker Masters Course, Sunday 30th November
This is a fantastic opportunity to train with one of the top Wadokai instructors in the country, right in our own Dojo HQ. This course is also open to non-club members. (Address is: 126 Whitby Street South, Hartlepool, TS24 7LP – we’ll even have a cuppa waiting for you!)
12-2pm – 13 years & under, £10
2-5pm – 14 years & above, £15
Wed 3rd December – CLUB CLOSED – no classes. No other dates are affected
Club Grading, Sat 6th & Sun 7th December
Full details are available at the club
Wadokai England Squad Training Saturday 13th December
@ Dojo HQ, 12noon registration (12.30-2.30 – Kumite, 3-5pm Kata approx), £15
We are very pleased to be hosting a Wadokai England squad training session at our own Dojo HQ. It’s quite nice not having to travel to events sometimes. The course will be led by Sensei Lee Minion & Sensei Stennet Harvey and will count towards the 2015 squad selection attendance requirement. This session includes a Kumite session & a Kata session. Students can do one or both sessions for the same fee.
I can’t emphasise how good an opportunity this is for all students to gain some valuable competition experience, please support the course if you can.
Club End of Year Adult Meal, Saturday 13th December
Owton Lodge, 7pm onwards. £8 each (2 courses) £11 each (3 courses), 14yrs+
We would like to invite all of our students (14yrs+), parents and friends to join us at the Owton Lodge for bite to eat and a couple of pints of… pepsi to celebrate another successful year at the club. The menu can be viewed here. The meal will need to be booked & paid for by the end of November. We would also like to invite our Wadokai friends who may decide to stay over in town and make a night of it.
Club FREE End of Year Training Course, 12-2pm Saturday 20th December
All of our students are welcome to join us for our FREE end of year training course. We follow on with the Shiramizu (The Karate dojo that Amy & Carl trained with for a year in Japan) tradition of doing 1000 punches – it’s not as bad as it sounds :-). Little Ninjas – please see Sensei Amy for the times of your end of year session.
Club Christmas Party, 3-6pm, Saturday 20th December
The Christmas Party follow our end of year training course. Tickets available now: £3 each or £10 for a family (Same household)
It’s been a busy year so far at the club but we’ve got loads of events coming up for you to enjoy.
Saturday 15th November – EKF Northern Regional Squad Training, Dojo HQ, Hartlepool
This is competition fight training for anyone 10 years & above, the course needs to be booked on to in advance. Please visit the EKF website to download the form. Note the form must be submitted by 5pm on Tuesday 11th November.
Saturday 20th November – Wadokai England Squad Training, Leicester
This training course is only suitable for selected students and is compulsory for all athletes wishing to be selected to the Wadokai England team. Please speak to Sensei Amy or Sensei Carl if you are interested in attending.
Sunday 21st November – Hartlepool Wadokai club-only championships, Dojo HQ, Hartlepool
This is our annual club-only competition. This is a perfect chance for students to try out Karate competition as it’s a really small, friendly competition – and it’s only our club. Categories are typically split by age/grade so that it’s fair. Please sign up at the club no later than Wednesday 19th November.
Sunday 30th November – Sensei Keith Walker Masters Course, Dojo HQ, Hartlepool
This will be a fantastic training opportunity for all of our students. We’ll be splitting juniors and senior sections so that the course can be specifically tailored to each group. The times & costs are to be confirmed but it is likely to be 12-5pm, 12-2pm 13 years & under, 2-5pm 14 years & above. The course fee will also be subsidised from the club fundraising pot to help keep the cost down (we know that a lot of events are going on!).
Wednesday 3rd December – CLUB CLOSED
This is just a reminder that ALL Little Ninja & Karate classes are cancelled for Wed 3rd Dec only.
Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th December – Hartlepool Wadokai Grading, Dojo HQ, Hartlepool
Full details are available at the club. Please look at out for your letter this coming week…
Saturday 13th December – Wadokai England Squad Training, Dojo HQ, Hartlepool
We are really pleased to be hosting this course, which forms part of the 2015 competition season and the build up to both the Wado World Cup (Japan, August 2015) and the Wadokai European Championships (Oct/Nov 2015). We would like to invite ALL students interested in competition to this course. Again, this is a fantastic opportunity for our students to train with some of the best Wado instructors in the UK – without having to travel!
Saturday 13th December – Hartlepool Wadokai Adult Meal & Social
Full details and menus are available at the club but we would like to invite all of our parents, students & friends (14 years+) to join us for a bite to eat and a bit of a social.
Saturday 20th December – Hartlepool Wadokai End of Year Course & Christmas Party, Dojo HQ
Once again we are running a FREE end of year training course for ALL of our Karate students 12-2pm.
Our Christmas party is 3-6pm and tickets are just £3 each or £10 per family (same household). As usual we will have a buffet, disco and more importantly a ‘best decorated cake’ competition. The entries last year were fantastic & delicious!!!
Northern Region Squad Training
This is a fantastic opportunity for northern athletes to attend EKF Squad training – without having to travel very far – it’s right on your doorstep! Please support the training session so that we can help bring more events here…
Saturday 3rd May 2014, Hartlepool Wadokai Dojo HQ: 126 Whitby Street South, Hartlepool, TS24 7LP
- Check In 9.30 EKF licence check will take place
- Open Squad Session
- 10.00 -12.00hrs session one (all ages)
- 12.30 -14.30 hrs session two (all ages)
Selection Fee £15
Kumite – Ensure you bring ALL your protective equipment (pads, gum-shields etc.)
Bring appropriate nutrition/plenty of fluids (hydration and energy drinks)
Please note that we will be looking to select athletes for forthcoming regional events at this session at all age group levels.
Head Coach Gavin Foster
Click here for the registration form
All forms are to be returned Tuesday, May 1, 2014, before 5pm to: email@example.com
Referee’s (especially in sports like Football) are often slated for being biased and / or incompetent, and they are often not the most liked people in the world of sport. So why would anyone want to become one?
I’m going to start this post with a controversial (but in my opinion true) statement, ‘without Referee’s and Judges, Karate competition will cease to exist’. Some traditionalists would love nothing better but I personally believe that Karate competition gives more to the Martial Art/Sport than it takes away.
Judges and officials are often in short supply at competitions so it was great to see a small army of referee’s and judges at the 1st English Karate Federation Kyu Grade Championships in Sheffield last weekend. They covered the full range of qualification and experience levels from Novice to Association, National, European and no doubt International level. Their was also an army of table officials.
I may be wrong but I believe that I was one of the youngest judges their and if that’s the case then what does that indicate? I may feel old but chronologically I’m not yet ‘past it’. So why were there not more ahem… youngsters there? I don’t know how many judges/referee’s are qualified in England and I certainly don’t know the average age of them but I DO think this is something that really needs looking at.
If we don’t get more young people interested in refereeing and judging then at some point in the future we are going to run out of them. Full stop. By the way, the same argument can be made for Karate Instructors too!
So, what’s stopping people from signing up? effort? cost? time? other commitments? Lack of opportunity? image of referee’s & judges?
Without knowing what the barriers are we can’t expect to ‘fix’ the problem.
From my personal experience as a competitor and coach, I can say that I’ve had my share of good and bad decisions against me. I’ve also been on the receiving end of blatant cheating and incompetence by officials too. I think that for the most part I’ve managed to ‘take the hit’ and have always explained to my students (& parents) that referee’s are only human and mistakes/bad calls can and do happen.
Know the rules. If instructors don’t understand the competition rules, then it’s unlikely that their students will. So my first simple suggestion is that every instructor at the very least should know the up to date WKF Competition rules. Also if they are unwilling or unable to do so themselves, they should encourage someone from their club to attend referee training courses. This could be association, regional or even national level. every little helps!
Competition organisers also have a big part to play, it shouldn’t cost referee’s and judges to attend an event and volunteer all day. It can work out very expensive if you have to travel, pay for food and sometime even accommodation. Most competitions will turn at least a modest profit, and ‘judge expenses’ should be factored into the event costs. Even a token payment of (for example) £20 would be appreciated. At these rates you’d be looking at at least £800 for 40 judges to cover six areas (new rules, 1x referee, 4x judge, 1x match controller – per area!). This is a lot of money but remember, this is an investment in the future of the sport.
We need the best possible referee’s at as many competitions as possible. They need to be experienced enough to make decisions accurately, to only score points that are actually good enough to score. If they don’t, then athletes will think their sub-standard techniques are great and then get destroyed when attending an overseas competition!
Another issue is that athletes need to compete. This may seem like a silly point but it’s quite surprising when you look at some squads how little they actually compete. This isn’t a criticism, it’s merely an observation but even our own style’s national Team, Wadokai England has members who only compete at the Wadokai European Championships each year. Some don’t enter domestic competitions and if they do, they only enter the ‘small ones’ or the ‘Wado only’ ones. It’s often the ‘big fish in the little pond’ scenario. Athletes don’t like to enter the big or multi-style/open events because they think they won’t win (especially in Wado Kata), so they become insular and the standard stagnates. If there is poor attendance at events, competitions will lose money and will cease to run meaning less opportunities in Karate!
The excuse: ‘the judges don’t understand Wado Kata’ is often used by coaches and athletes to explain why they didn’t win at a particular competition. This may be true BUT if Wado athletes refuse to enter open competitions then how will they ever know what a ‘good Kata’ looks like? I know of a number of very good Wado clubs that actively enter the open circuit and do very well so I think it’s more down to performance standard than what style Kata a lot of time (but not all!).
Also, back to my first point… we need more referee’s and judges, so the Wado fraternity should invest more £££ in their respective in-house referee training programs. The graduates of these programs can then move onto national qualifications and thus help bolter the number of great Wado ref’s out there. The more good quality referee’s and judges out there the better and we all have our small parts to play. If you have 50 officials at a competition and only 1 or 2 are biased or inexperienced then that is great, if you’ve only got 10 officials at the same event then the bias and inexperience is going to be felt more.
- We need referee’s & Judges, they should be encouraged
- Instructors need to learn the rules & teach them to their students
- Competition organisers should pay expenses for all referee’s and judges
- Athletes need to enter competitions
I am NOT an expert in refereeing and judging and I don’t claim to be. These are my own observations from my limited experience of national-level judging and running a number of very successful championships. The post is by no means exhaustive and I’m sure people may disagree, comment below and we can continue the debate.
The next referee course is: Sunday 29th January in Barnsley, England.
We left Hartlepool two hours before dawn (approx 6am) on a very cold, wet and windy Sunday morning (22nd Jan). Ponds Forge in Sheffield was the venue of the 1st English Karate Federation Kyu Grade Karate Championships so, Sheffield was where we were heading!
Apart from being unable to find somewhere to park the mini-bus (gratefully borrowed from Hartlepool College of Further Education) the journey was uneventful. The competitors signed in and got changed, the parents tried to get comfortable on the seating and Lynne and Carl reported to the chief referee to find out where we would be working (Judging) all day. Amy (coach) then briefed the competitors and made sure they were ready for the day.
The day was pretty well organised and was done and dusted in about 9 hours, not bad for such a large entry! I think we could have easily shaved at least an hour off the day if it wasn’t for the usual time-wasting issues at competitions: kids not turning up when they’re supposed to, with incorrect equipment, occasional admin errors etc… but no competition is ever perfect.
This was the second time I’d helped judge at an EKF comp and a first for Lynne and we both thoroughly enjoyed it, even though it was like working in an oven – for 9 hours!!
The three competitors (Lewis, Phil, Bailey) that entered from our club did very well in Kata and Kumite despite the fact that this was the first EKF competition any of them had entered. We entered expecting zero medals, we just wanted to get some competitors on the mat as early as possible so that we had something to work on early in the season.
Results are as follows:
Phil Salmons: 3rd Place – Team Kumite, Boys 12-13yrs
Lewis Muldown: 3rd Place – Team Kumite, Boys 12-13yrs
Lewis Muldown: 3rd Place – Individual Kumite, Boys 12-13yrs -45kg
Bailey Reed: 3rd Place – Team Kumite, Boys 12-13yrs
Bailey Reed: 3rd Place – Individual Kata, Boys 12-13yrs
Bailey Reed: 2nd Place – Individual Kumite, Boys 12-13yrs +45kg
We got back to Hartlepool at about 9.30pm making it a mammoth 15.5 hour day and the longest ‘Karate day’ our trio of competitors have faced so far.
Key Learnings: The competitors need to work on keeping energy and hydration levels constant throughout the day by eating and drinking correctly to ensure peak performance.
Next Event: Wadokai England Squad Training, Saturday 28th January – Leicester; EKF Referee Training, Sunday 29th January, Barnsley
Summary: We were a little disappointed to only field 3 competitors at this event despite having a pretty big club, those that didn’t attend missed a great opportunity to get some time on the mats. There is still a lot of work to do with all three competitors in Kata & Kumite but each performed well and if they keep up the hard work and enthusiasm then the future should be bright for them.