Young fighters from Oakham made their mark at a karate championships with several podium places for members of Sensei Bassett’s Black Belt Academy.
A team of 15 went to the Wune Tang Championship in Coventry at the end of last month when students took part in individual kata (sequences of punches and kicks), team kata (where groups of three students perform the same kata at the same time) and Kumite (sparring).
Team Kata was the first event of the day and, as this was an open tournament, weapon kata routines were included, pitching the Oakham students against opponents armed with swords or spears.
Bassett said: “The majority of them had never done a team kata event. They all got some great experience for next time but unfortunately came up a bit short next to the weapon teams.”
The next events were the individual kata in which 6-year-old Eloise Snape, who had greatly impressed during in the team event, was up first.
She performed Heian Nidan, an orange belt kata, to take a fourth place medal.
“Eloise is the youngest student I’ve taken to a tournament,” added Bassett.
“I usually don’t take students until they have 18-24 months of experience but Eloise doesn’t show any nerves. She had no problem with competing in an event that almost 200 people had entered.”
More success followed in the individual event with Georgina Boulton-Smith, Sammer Al-Khayat and his younger brother Tariq all taking third places. Isaac Costa Mellonie sealed a second spot, and Leo Davies improved on his second at London earlier in the year to claim first place.
Ben Boulton-Smith, faced a difficult all black-belt group, but still came away with first place.
The final events were the sparring events which were 90 second fights with competitors scoring using punches and kicks.
Not all the 15 Oakham students competed in the sparring but of those who did, Issac and Sammer both took third places, and Tariq took second.
Sensi Bassett addded: “This was a really successful day for us.
“Of the 15 students who competed, it was the first ever tournament for 11 of them.
“Well done to Natasha Kirchin, Michael Costa Mellonie, Noor Al-Khayat, Zak Ellis and Ryan Heasell who all competed. They were all in categories that had the most entries from other clubs meaning they had a much harder job to get into the top positions.
“Also well done to Matthew, Calum and Jacob Worthington who participated in the team event and then stayed for the rest of the event to encourage on everyone else.”
For details about classes call Josh 07769 653538.