Report From the World Shotokan Karate Federation World Championships 2015
Date: Sep 21, 2015 by admin
Author: Collette McCorry
The WSKF Ireland Karate team, under the guidance of Brendan Perry, Chief Instructor, have returned to Ireland with pride from the Land of the Rising Sun following the World Shotokan Karate Federation World Championships held at the impressive martial arts Budokan stadium, Ayase, Tokyo.
Following months of intensified training the 16 competitor team were rewarded for their hard work and dedication with the team capturing a staggering 22 medals. The Irish team were led out at the opening ceremony by the youngest ever Irish team member, Rian Fitzpatrick in the company of Brendan Perry, Dirk van Breda, Jackie Gray, Chris Kelly, Mark Sheridan, Sorcha McCorry, Niamh Hogan, Amy McLoughlin, Seona Gannon, Patrick Farrington, Stephan van Breda, James Renehan, David Gannon, Liam Griffin and Lee Kelly.
First team medal for Ireland went to David Gannon, Lee Kelly and Liam Griffin the U12 male Kata (forms) team whose performance captivated spectators and judges alike as they progressed through the various rounds, achieving Gold and World Champion status with their brilliant performance.
World Champion medals went to Ireland’s Mark Sheridan, Amy McLaughlin and David Gannon having successfully navigated through the rounds in their respective categories. Niamh Hogan’s performance in kata earned a further silver for the Irish team.
In the Junior boys Kumite (fighting) team Patrick Farrington, Stephan Van Breda and James Renehan took silver in an exceptional team kumite event in a category which commanded great interest with the spectators. The boys took no prisoners in the lead up rounds in this their inaugural World Championships .
There was sibling success in the Irish camp when Seona Gannon older sister of David Gannon took bronze in both kata and kumite in this her inaugural World Championships.
Not to be outshone by the younger competitors of the championships Jackie Gray took silver in kumite (fighting), Chris Kelly, Brendan Perry and Dirk Van Breda took bronze in team kata (forms) with Chris Kelly and Brendan Perry taking bronze in kumite (fighting) events.
Whilst in Tokyo the Irish Team took part in a three day international seminar with Sensei Kasuya, 8th Dan black belt and Chief Instructor of the World Shotokan Karate-do Federation. The international seminar was also utilised to examine and grade a number of students under the scrutiny of a formidable panel of Instructors, chaired by WSKF Chief Instructor, Sensei Kasuya.
Congratulations to Ireland’s Chief Instructor, Brendan Perry having attained Shichidan (7th Dan) which not only requires examination of techniques and ability but is predicated on a written thesis. Also examined and successful in their grading was:
Mark Sheridan, Godan (5th Dan)
Jackie Gray, Nidan (2nd Dan)
Dirk Van Breda Nidan (2nd Dan)
Chris Kelly, Nidan (2nd Dan).
The Irish rose to every challenge posed by their opponents resulting in 5 Gold, 6 silver and 11 Bronze. The magnitude of what the team have achieved cannot be overstated considering there were over 500 competitors from over 28 countries represented including: Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Columbia, England, Finland, Germany, Georgia, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Japan, Korea, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Mauritius, New Zealand, Nigeria, Portugal, Panama, Pakistan, Russia – Moscow and Russia Rostov, Switzerland, Scotland, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.
The team greatly appreciate and wish to thank the communities and businesses for their help, support, prizes, donations and assistance with the momentous task of raising funds to compete at the championships in Tokyo without which the team would not have been able to compete.
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