WSKF World Cup 2018 Report
Date: Oct 08, 2018 by admin
World Shotokan Karate Federation Ireland –
Hosts of World Cup Championships 2018 and International Training Session
Sports Ireland National Indoor Arena.
WSKF Ireland’s preparations for The WSKF World Cup intensified immediately following confirmation by World Shotokan Karate-Do Federation’s Chief Instructor, Hitoshi Kasuya, Japan, confirming the championships and international training gassuku would be hosted and held in Ireland – such privileged never before bestowed to Ireland - until now.
“If you build it they will come”
Following months of preparation, hardwork and dedication the time had finally arrived - 3rd October, 2018. The following five days would see over 17 countries, representing the WSKF International family, gathered together in Dublin for training and to compete against each other in both kata (forms) and kumite (fighting).
The championships followed a two day international training seminar held by Sensei Hitoshi Kasuya 8th Dan, a distinguished, celebrated and accomplished instructor of Japanese Karate. He is recognised as one of the leading Shotokan karate instructors in the world with his unique teaching method, scientific approach and dynamic technical skill. The seminar was also utilised to examine and grade a number of Irish and international practitioners for black belt grading. WSKF Ireland wish to congratulate Ireland’s Rachel Slevin, Sho Dan (1st), David Gannon, Ni Dan (2nd), Sean O’Connor (San Dan) 3rd, Niamh Hogan and Sorcha McCorry Astudillo both achieving (Yon Dan)4th and Mrs. Leslie Hogan being awarded Godan (5th).
The National Indoor Sports Arena was a fitting venue for the two day event catering for male and female, individual and team events with age categories ranging from 6 years to over 55 years. Day one of competition was dedicated exclusively to kata events with a great diversity of competitors with each country vying for the best results outcome.
Following the opening ceremony spectators and competitors were entertained with a flavour of traditional Irish music and dance from members of Riverdance followed by a return to proceedings and ultimately the intense competition of the kata finals to determine places for gold, silver and bronze. Making history for Ireland, was the women’s team kata, Sorcha McCorry Astudillo, Niamh Hogan and Sophie King, who for the first time, took Gold at a WSKF international championships with Belgium taking Silver and Switzerland taking Bronze place.
Ireland’s kata competitors featured well alongside Switzerland, Romania, Portugal, Russia and Belgium who also featured high on the medals tally.
With Day 1 complete, Day 2 kumite events saw the predicted increase in pace and adrenaline change for competitors and spectators alike.
Kumite events provided a host of exciting and, at times, interesting bouts. Of particular mention was the mens Jiyu kumite event in which Ireland’s Conor O’Sullivan, Sam Wheeldon and Ukraine’s Dmytro Vlokh took podium positions.
Day two also saw a short pause in the day’s proceedings allowing for the presentation and display of a range of techniques – Bunkai - showing an "analysis" or "disassembly", of techniques of kata and extraction of fighting techniques from the movements of a "form" which were performed by long standing friends and fellow competitors Ireland’s Chief Instructor, Mark Sheridan and Ireland’s Kata Coach Francisco Astudillo.
Break over – the focus immediately returned to the business at hand – who would prevail? – what is the prize?, and who might be crowned world cup champion?
The team events, by their nature, are probably considered the most intense due to each competitor, of a given team, wanting to out-skill and take the edge over their rivals. This was evident for the individual events but particularly between the international team kumite events. Skill, speed and stamina are the marks of each competitor and there were some fantastic and memorable performances over the competition days. Ireland took Silver in the Junior and Mixed Team kata event; took Silver in the women’s team kumite; Ireland took Gold in Mens Team kumite ahead of Germany and Scotland, Gold for Cadet Team kumite; Gold for Mixed team kata; and Gold for Womens kata.
WSKF Ireland performances were strong, across numerous categories, and it was little surprise that on the close of the championships the medal tally for WSKF Ireland totalled 25 Gold, 20 Silver and 16 Bronze medals. Ireland’s Chief Instructor Mark Sheridan was delighted with the performances from all the WSKF Ireland competitors whose success is a testament to their dedication both at national and international level.
The hosting of the WSKF World Cup would not be have been possible without its competitors. WSKF Ireland recognises and sincerely thank the support and dedication of parents, guardians and friends without whose support, this event, would not have been possible. Sincere thanks also to championship director Mr. Chris Kelly, to the sponsors, and special thanks to Martin and Conor Clinch.
WSKF were honoured and greatly appreciated the attendance of Sensei Hitoshi Kasuya, Sensei Tomiko Mitsuoka, Sensei Taro Kasuya, and each and every attending Chief Instructor and Instructor who attended the event - a big thanks to each and every competitor who shared this special occasion and it is hoped to see all the WSKF family gather again at the WSKF World Championships in Japan 2019.
WSKF Ireland and its members continue to train and compete at national and International events and continue flying the flag for Ireland. WSKF Ireland welcome all to train with their instructors whether beginner or experienced regardless of age, grade or association. Visit us at: www.wskf.ie or Chief Instructor Mark Sheridan at 087 360 4405.