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Kaizen Cup: The Rumble in the (urban) Jungle!

By Admin - Posted on 10 November 2010


Kaizen Cup: The Rumble in the (urban) Jungle!


Sunday 7th November. Around 250 entries from 8 different clubs across London and Essex battled it out across 42 divisions of kata and kumite to be crowned Kaizen Cup Champion 2010. The atmosphere was palpable all day with a mix of nerves, adrenaline, success, disappointment, camaraderie, rivalry, tears, cheers, adulation and relief.

There was fierce competition in all events from the 5 and 6 year olds all the way through to the adult black belt divisions. It takes tremendous courage to enter the tournament ring and all students who competed deserve huge praise. For all karateka, that 6 or 8 metre matted square is daunting and fearsome no matter how experienced they are; even the seasoned pros feel the butterflies in their bellies at some point! So it was great to see novices of all ages giving it their all in front of the competitors and spectators.

Stand out performances came out in all divisions with particularly hard contests between the teenage black belts and adult black belt divisions.

Kata in brief:

Daniel Fountain (Tokon Kai) retained his kata crown in the under 17’s shodan + boy’s category despite an impressive Luke Joslin (Kaizen Ryu) in the close final proving he is still the guy to beat. Sahana Cooper (Shuseikan) topped the girl’s division with a solid Seiunchin and Seipai.

Better quality stances and technique were instrumental to Jade Green (Seitou Ryu), Ross Papworth (Tokon Kai) and Liam Scott (Colchester Karate Academy) who won their kata divisions convincingly.

Nerves play their part with Joe Alzapedi (Jundokan) holding his in the novice adult section final against Daniel Aiken (Kaizen Ryu) to decide the kata champion.

The black belt women showed how it’s done with exceptional performances from all. Good basic technique saw Kim Mandy (Seitou Ryu) place 3rd with her Sochin, a new kata for her which makes her placing even more impressive. Emmie Brown and Vicky Phillips (both Kaizen Ryu) demonstrated their rivalry with imposing performances of Seisan and Unsu. Vicky eventually came out on top for the title but the pair are going to be tough to overcome.

Kumite in brief:

An impressive fighter with gritty determination and a fearsome ring presence, that’ll be tiny 8 year old Jilly McKenzie (Jundokan) who really is a pint-sized pocket rocket! She took on all comers to triumph, beating (whisper it) all the boys!

Josh Sabiniano (Kaizen Ryu) came out on top of a keenly contested division with some impressive gyaku tsuki and mawashi geri beating the taller Tahmid Alam (Kaizen Ryu) and a very determined Frank Stow (Hotaru).

Under 17’s brown belt boys were dominated by Jundokan with Callum Harvey, Harrison Harvey and Jay Simmons filling the podium. These boys will be ones to watch when they make it into the shodan and above categories.

Another kumite family are the Stacey brothers (Tokon Kai). Tyler won the junior black belt final against Matthew Lillywhite (Shuseikan) with Zack narrowly losing out to big brother Brandon in the under 17’s black belt division. This division is a real trial by fire with 6 or 7 very equally matched teenagers including the Staceys, Daniel Fountain (Tokon Kai), Sam Smith (Tokon Kai), Luke Joslin (Kaizen Ryu) and Tyrone Briscoe (Kaizen Ryu). They could compete every week and we’d find a different winner every time. These fights are usually decided by who has the nerves of steel on the day to go with their blistering pace and impeccable timing.

The girl’s event of the same division was dominated by Gina Boot (Kaizen Ryu). In the face of strong competition from Georgia Starkey (Tokon Kai) and a greatly improved Lauren McAllister (Kaizen Ryu); who picked up bronze and silver respectively, Gina kept a level head and fought her way to the top.

Men’s black belt kumite division was bruising and demanding for the combatants. Jack McAllister (Kaizen Ryu) showed his mettle as the youngest in the division mixing it with the men and will be one to look out for as he matures. Boaz Goren (Shuseikan) fought well and picked up a notable 3rd place in one of his first competitions. Stevie Strowlger (Hotaru) couldn’t overcome his training partner Daniel Vickerstaff in the championship final. The pair joined with Tony Knight in the team kumite to bring the trophy back to Hotaru’s dojo.

We would like to thank all competitors and spectators for making the competition so memorable and enjoyable. We would also separately like to show our appreciation to all the helpers and officials that allow the tournament to start and finish on time without too many hiccups. Finally, we need to thank all the coaches from Seitou Ryu, Hotaru, Tokon Kai, Jundokan, Colchester Karate Academy, Shuseikan, Goshukan and Kaizen Ryu who have worked tirelessly to bring competitors of such high standard and for their professional conduct at all events.

All that’s left to be said is well done to all the 2010 Kaizen Cup Champions and we’re all looking forward to seeing who comes out on top in 2011!!

Next Kaizen Cup is on 27th March 2011.

 Review written by: Apolonius Newton-Boon III