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Kaizen Cup Squad Review

By Admin - Posted on 30 March 2011

It's a knockout at the Spring Championships!

Review by: Vicky Phillips & Emmie Brown

A huge congratulation to all competitors of the Yudansha and Team Kaizen Squads for their amazing results at last weekend’s Kaizen Cup Spring Competition held at Dagenham Park School, Dagenham. The day saw the Yudansha Elite Team come away with 6 Golds, 9 Silvers, and 3 Bronze medals while the new Team Kaizen took an impressive 9 Golds, 3 Silvers and 7 Bronze Medals! 

Team Kaizen Coach Emmie Brown said ‘I am overjoyed with how well all the competitors have done, they have trained hard building up to the start of the season and have shown that hard work can give you these sort of results. They had great fun, huge smiles all round and didn’t let anything get them down, I am so proud!’ 

Turning the clocks forward was not the only thing that was on people’ minds that early Sunday morning… for those who were preparing to compete it was how to out-perform the other competitors and come out on top, bringing them a step closer for a chance to fight in the Finals to win the coveted Kaizen Cup. 

The day was filled with excellent displays of skill from the younger children who had courage to enter at such a young age through to the teen and adult divisions in both Kata (pre-arranged forms) and Kumite (sparring). Standout kata’s were performed by Team Kaizen members James Duran, Daniel Aiken and Chris Seth, all showing great skill and determination to up their game and show they have what it takes to win. Youngest squad members Zakki Roe and Ciara Coyle performed Heian Godan and Geki Sai Ichi respectively, both taking up podium places, with Zakki taking home the Gold Medal.   

True to their form, Yudansha Squad members Sunit Jogia, Luke Joslin (15yrs), Gina Boot (13yrs) and Vicky Phillips (22yrs) all performed advance level kata, with Sunit impressing the judges with his best kata to date, and came away with 1st Place in the 8-12yrs Black Belt boys division. Tough competition came from the Yamaguchi Goju Kai squad, who racked up an impressive 8 Gold Medal places in the kata division alone!    

Yudahsa Team Member Luke Joslin said ‘we went out there with the hope to spread a bit of fun around the tournament, which is why we are here after all. I just hope people can see you can have fun at these events and still get great results, something we teach all our squads’.

Synchronized Team Kata tests your skills in another dimension, with the emphasis on synchronicity and maintaining good technique and form. A challenge but not impossible, both teams showed true display of spirit in the intermediates (13-16yrs) and senior (17+) divisions. New kata team (Daniel Aiken, Jasmine David and Famida Noor-Mahomed) performed Saifa and gained Silver whilst seasoned Yudansha members also took Silver with their kata Seiunchin.

After lunch the teams continued to shine with outstanding results in the kumite (sparring) divisions.  Keith Broad (new Team Kaizen member) pulled out all the stops in his Kumite fights as he fought off competitors with his well practised ‘gyaku tsuki’ (reverse) punch… Fellow team members Daniel and George Mitchell who fought in the same category as Keith in the semi-finals were equally successful after a tough bout. Daniel came away with a silver medal and George took bronze.

Kumite are fast paced and can be tough, many bouts were hard fought for on Sunday, but with practice and gritty determination, you can win. Students from across the club whether in Team Kaizen or Yudansha fought well and went home with medals, and for some this is their first ever competition! So it’s inspiring to see youngsters like Nayan Gondalia (from Ilford Dojo) taking up the courage to enter and take home 2 silver medals. One member also worth mentioning is Tom Cottis (from Romford Dojo) who secured 1st place with his impeccable timing and blistering speed.   

Coach Vicky Phillips said ‘everyone put on their best displays and fought their hardest to come out on top and were smiling all day through. The way it should be done’

As the day drew to a close, squad members continued to show true skills and made their mark in the Team kumite events with top performances from Team Kaizen 3 (James, Marcio, Mantas), Yudansha member Sunit (joined by Jacob Wilmore) and Team Kaizen 2 (Leah Quah, Ciara Coyle, Georgina Milner) in the 5-12 yrs divisions. Yudansha’s team of Gina, Tyrone and Luke won the 13-16 yrs old division with Vicky, Dominik and Tom taking silver in the 17+.

With these results it is encouraging to see the teams putting into practice what they have learnt, as well as starting to see them gelling together as a cohesive group. We hope that the preparations will pay off when the teams compete at the Nationals in Crystal Palace and at the World Championships in Turin Italy towards the end of the year.