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Hartlepool Wadokai 2014 dates

Federation European Wadokai Championships, Sat 1st & Sun 2nd November

Reading, UK

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.

 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

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)

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Hartlepool Wadokai Club-Only Championships – RESULTS

Sunday 23rd November 2014, Dojo HQ

Here are the results from our club-only championships that were held today. Well done to all students who entered, especially our Little Ninjas – who were fantastic! We’ll post photos from the day once I get a copy.

Results

 

We’d like to thank all of our officials and volunteers for helping set up and run a smooth competition, and of course the parents / guardians for supporting the students during the day.


JKF-Wadokai Master’s Course

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27th, 28th & 29th September 2013

The JKF-Wadokai is the ‘internationally renowned’ parent organisation that oversees Wadokai Karate. 8 members of the club recently attended the UK Master’s Course headed by Matsui Sensei and Takagi Sensei. To my knowledge, this is the first time so many of the high ranking Wadokai sensei have been to the UK. The visiting instructors were as follows:

Mr Hideho Takagi 8th Dan

Mr  Chiaki Shimamoto 8th Dan

Mr Masamichi Shinohara 8th Dan

Mr Masohito Kitagawa 8th Dan

Mr Koichi Shimura 7th Dan

MrTamaki Sonoda 7th Dan

Mr Yoshinorio Matsui Chairman of the Board of Directors 

These sorts of big events are a great opportunity to catch up with old friends from all over the world, and of course make new ones. Amy and I met up with quite a few people over the weekend who had at one time or another visited Takamasa Arakawa Sensei’ Shiramizu Dojo in Sugito Japan. One of these friends rightly described the course as a ‘facebook convention’ because it really was, we’re all connected online to so many Wado friends and colleagues and these big events bring everyone together to train under one roof. It was great to be able to meet some people who we’ve been connected to for years without ever meeting in person.

(Photo courtesy of Angie Emms, Grantham Aiwakai Karate Club/Emzfit)

(Photo courtesy of Angie Emms, Grantham Aiwakai Karate Club/Emzfit)

Over the long weekend we covered basics, basics and basics of Wadokai. Takagi Sensei explained a number of times that the fundamental movements are essential to move and strike correctly, and without solid basics, nothing else will work. It was effectively a standardisation course with the Sensei highlighting the key points of each movement. It’s important that all Wadokai clubs are teaching the way the JKF-Wadokai want us too, throughout the world and that we’re all continually developing ourselves to ‘become the best we can be’.  The pace was at times tough, with calls of ‘faster faster’ reminding me of my earlier years in Karate.

Bob Nash Sensei (USA) was on hand throughout the weekend to translate and helped ensure everyone understood what was being said, often in a humorous way.

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We’re pleased to say that the club had a successful weekend with the Dan Grading (Black Belt Examinations) with Lewis Muldown achieving his 1st Dan, Beth Gray her 2nd Dan and Carl Jorgeson his 4th Dan.  All the attendees were also given attendance certificates to remember the prestigious event so we presented them last night at the club.

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The course was very well attended with up to 200 students descending from all over the world. Hopefully this support will lead to more events of this type taking place in the UK, there is obviously a desire for them. This can only strengthen the Wadokai in this country and beyond.


Upcoming Events

The club has had a busy September 2013. We’ve relaunched our School P.E. Karate & After School sessions and added a lot of new classes to our weekly schedule. This month we have also held the biggest club grading we’ve ever had and attended a 3 day long JKF-Wadokai Master’s course.

The rest of the year is just as busy, with some great training and competition experiences to be had by our members.

OCTOBER 2013

Sunday 13th – Hartlepool Wadokai TEAM KUMITE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Team fighting)

This is a new event for the club. We’ll be putting together teams of 3 fighters for this exhibition event, one fighter 9 years & under; one from 10-12 years and one 13 years and over. This should make for an exciting, action packed day. £10 per person. Starts 1pm @ Dojo HQ (126 Whitby Street South, Hartlepool, TS24 7LP).

 

Sunday 19th – Darlington Competition

Details of this event were posted in the September newsletter.

 

Saturday 26th – English Karate Federation Kumite Referee Course, Luton

 

Thursday 31st – Hartlepool Wadokai Halloween Party

6-9pm, Tickets are £3 each or £10 for a family ticket. We’re having a bit of a disco, food, a best fancy dress costume & best carved pumpkin competition too.  @ Dojo HQ (126 Whitby Street South, Hartlepool, TS24 7LP).

 

NOVEMBER 2013

Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd – Sugasawa Sensei Course, Leeds

Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th – Sakagamai Sensei Course, Alfreton

Sunday 17th – Sensei Lee Minion Combat Course, Derby

Saturday 23rd – Hartlepool Wadokai First Aid Course

Saturday 23rd – Hartlepool Wadokai Training Course, 2-5pm Details TBC

Sunday 24th – Hartlepool Wadokai Beginner’s Championships

 

DECEMBER 2013

Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th – Hartlepool Wadokai Training & Grading Course

Saturday 14th – Hartlepool Wadokai End of Year Training Course & Kids Christmas Party

Saturday 21st – Hartlepool Wadokai Adult (14 years +) Christmas Meal & Social

Sunday 22nd – Hartlepool Wadokai Christmas break


Club Training & Grading Weekend

Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd September 2013

The club has just finished holding a Training & Grading weekend. It was an opportunity for students to train for 6 hours across both days and specifically cover their grade syllabus. Those that were ready after the course were able to take the test for their next belt on the Sunday afternoon. The course attendance was much higher than we expected but all in all it was a successful weekend event.

Congratulations to everyone who trained, especially our younger students who are not accustomed to training for so long in one go.

A big well done to those that passed their grades.

This was the first weekend-long grading that we’ve done and we’re likely to tweak the format a little bit for the next one. e.g. We’ll most likely stagger the training & grading times for the different graded students.

We’ll also be fully rolling out our new grading syllabus for the next grading too. One or two students were also awarded the ‘new’ belts today which will help make the grades more achievable for the younger students, without ‘dumbing down’ the syllabus.

I’d like to thank the instructors and assistant instructors for helping out over the weekend.

Well done everyone

 


Hartlepool Wadokai Annual Club Championships 2013

14th July 2013

Every year we hold a club-only championship. Here are some of the photos of the event (reproduced with permission from the Codner family):

The event took place on one of the hottest days of the year and the judges were melting in their blazers but hey ho, the show must go on! There were some great performances in Kata and Kumite, with a great battle between Lewis & Joel in one of the final events of the day.

 


The future of Competition Karate?

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!

Barriers:

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.

Suggestions:

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.

Bigger Picture: 

  • 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

Disclaimer:

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.


2012 Competition Calendar

SUN 22nd JANUARY – EKF Kyu Grade Championships, Sheffield (Selected students only)

SAT 4th FEBRUARY – Hartlepool Wadokai Junior/Beginner Club-Only Championships, Hartlepool (All members, grades TBC)

SUN 5th FEBRUARY – Wellbeck Invitational Championships, Loughborough (All members, 12-30yrs Kata; 13-30yrs Kumite)

SUN 4th MARCH – Chojinkai Children’s & Cadet’s Championships, Penrith (All members, 6-17yrs)

SUN 18th MARCH – Hartlepool Wadokai Inter-Club Karate Champonships, Brierton Sports Centre, Hartlepool (All members)

SAT 21st & SUN 22nd APRIL – EKF National Championships, Sheffield

SUN 13th MAY – Aiwakai National Invitational Championships, Alfreton

SUN 8th JULY – CEWKA Championships, Birmingham

SUN 19th AUGUST – South Yorkshire Championships

SUN 30th SEPTEMBER – Hon Yoso Kai Championships, Worcester

SUN 14th OCTOBER – Hartlepool Wadokai Club-Only Championships, Hartlepool

3rd & 4th NOV  – Wadokai European Championships, Venice, Italy

SUN 18th NOVEMBER – Hartlepool Wadokai JUNIOR Inter-Club Championships, Hartlepool (All members, 5-18yrs)

In addition to the above dates, some other events might be added (e.g. British) depending upon squad commitment to training and ability. Competitors wanting to select for the Wadokai England Squad in 2012 should put ALL of the above dates into their diaries.

Those students ‘serious’ about competition should attend the weekly Squad Session (Wednesday 7-8pm).


Fitness testing Part 2

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Tonight we carried out a number of sport science tests on our competitors. These tests form part of Sensei Carl’s ‘Analysis of Sports Performance’ module in his Sports Coaching & Exercise Degree at Hartlepool College Of Further Education.

The tests were as follows:

The ‘illinois agility run test‘, Power on an electronic shield with Gyakuzuki (reverse punch). And finally we recorded a number of kumite matches from each fighter. This will be analysed by the clubs referee’s over the holidays for favourite techniques used, scoring techniques, movement patterns etc… and areas of improvement.

All this data will be used as part of the 2012 squad training program for our competitors.

(Special thanks to Mikaela White for working the video camera)


Hartlepool Wadokai Club Grade

Tonight we had a Club Grading at Owton Manor Primary School. We’re pleased to announce that everyone was successful and most are now the proud owners of shiny new belts just before Christmas!

We had the students have a serious pose and then the ‘Karate kid’ pose :-p

9th Kyu

  • Andrew Cronin
  • George Hunter
  • Scott Harrison
  • Zachary Shears
  • Cameron Craig
  • Nicole McMillan
  • Damon Crawford
  • Rema Uddin
  • Taslima Begum
  • Heike Schaessburger

8th Kyu

  • Sashenka Lindridge
  • Velda Cowan
  • Leah McKenzie

7th Kyu

  • Jack Solomon
  • Abby Laidler
  • Adam Cowan
  • Chris Lindridge

6th Kyu

  • Bailey Lindridge
  • Daniel Spires
  • Tommy Beer

4th Kyu

  • Bailey Reed

2nd Kyu

  • Lewis Muldown

1st Kyu

  • Luke Dawkins