LSE Karate team excels again and again
Report from Regional Championships – 13 February 2010
The LSE was represented in force at the Southern Regions Shotokan Karate Championships held in Crawley on 13 February 2010. And once more the team emerged victorious and did the University proud with an impressive haul of medals.
Shotokan is the most traditional of karate forms practiced internationally. Competitions focus on kata (set forms) and kumite (fighting) and all those competing for the LSE, who ranged in grade (belt) levels from novice to advanced, competed in both.
In the individual kata rounds Sam Mir, Velin Djidjev and Colin Spurway produced a number of focussed and impressive performances, all reaching the semi-finals of their respective categories. Sam and Velin were then led by Sensei Dario Ghazi in the team kata event, where the team performed in perfect unison the explosive and powerful black-belt kata known as ‘Bassai Dai’ . With characteristic determination and poise Sensei Dario led his kata team through to the decisive final round, where the team took 3 silver medals for the LSE.
In the kumite rounds the university team excelled yet further.
The women fought with dogged strength and determination. Notwithstanding that it was their first championship, the two novice belts, Nataliya Shynkaryova and Christelle Pengratis fought particularly well. Both gave serious challenge to their higher graded and more experienced opponents, pushing the match to a draw and forcing an extension into extra time where they only narrowly lost out on proceeding to the next round. Their team mates, Irina Kraicheva and Giorgia Marchiori, displayed similar determination, fighting hard and pushing their opponents all the way.
Rewards were reaped in the team kumite event, where the combined efforts of Irina, Nataliya and Giorgia earned the club another 3 silver medals.
The LSE men showed themselves equally able. In their respective individual fighting events Sam, Velin and Colin deployed skill and strategy to comfortably defeat opponent after opponent in the elimination rounds. Sam destroyed the opponents with his powerful and fast kicks, Velin showed the magic of his quick hands and Colin hustled his opponents with fast combo punches. LSE fighters proceeded confidently to the finals. Sam emerged with Silver, as did Colin (his first medal in an open kumite competition), whilst Velin took Bronze.