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35th JKF Goju Kai All Japan Karate Championships - Nagoya, Japan

By Admin - Posted on 18 September 2009

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JKF Goju Kai 35th All Japan Karate Do World Championships.   

With no let up in the action, the very next day both instructors had to report far too early in the morning for the World Championships. With many procedures to follow including weighing in, checking attendance and being briefed ahead of the opening ceremony, Marie Sensei and Indy Sensei barely had time to think before being sent from one end of the massive arena to another.

The opening ceremony of the championships was an awe inspiring deathbed memory. Nearly eight hundred combatants each representing the best from their area in Japan or other countries around the world made their way onto the competition floor. With less than 20 foreigners in attendance at the event, our duo made up the entire Great Britain contingent this year. The realisation that there would be no “easy” rounds against minority karate nations began to dominate everything; this was never going to be “just another competition”.

Indy Sensei and Marie Sensei were hoping for a delay in the tournament. To give them time for even more warming up, practise their kata and kumite, be more prepared, find some kind of inspiration; anything that give them just a little chance not to be the worst competitors there. That is the goal of any westerner at this competition as the Japanese are totally and utterly dominant and never complacent. Unfortunately, Japanese competitions run better than Swiss clocks and 300 children completed their kata rounds in less than 2 hours.

Both instructors put their nerves aside and completed their kata finishing in the middle of their groups toward the top half, a massive achievement. Kumite was a punishing and very, very fast! Marie Sensei put up a strong fight, attacking straight away and going directly for her advisery, but couldn’t make it past her first round opponent (one of the tournament favourites). Indy Sensei fought hard & made it through the first rounds before finally being bested in the last 16. An amazing experience, the pair were more than pleased with their results; doing better than any other non-Japanese competitor, and are already train­ing hard for next year’s championships.

Even with a gruelling schedule of six hours a day training, there was still plenty of time to socialize in the evening! For many it was and always will be an amazing and unforgettable experience. Indy Sensei and Marie Sensei kept a training diary so that students and instructors alike who were back in the UK can get an insight into the training and Japan's rich and colourful culture.