Kimura Shukokai Karate Kent members topped the medal table at the recent SKF National Championships for the first time in the club's short history, bringing home 11 Gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze medals.

It was an early start to the day as the coach left from Kingswood Village Hall at 6.00 am. 43 competitiors and supporters travelled on the coach and were met by others at the venue at Haden Hill Leisure Centre, Birmingham.

First up, shortly after arrival were the team kata events where the club had an "A" and "B" teams. The "B" team of Gary Hewitt, Malcolm Styles and Chris Townsend performed their kata well in what was their first experience of this category. The "A" team of Sensei Katie Simpson, Elle Osborne and Samantha Riddell, were sharp in the preliminary rounds and progressed to the final where they beat the experienced Blackheath team to take Gold.

The senior grade cadet team of Jack Cutler, Adam Axford and Christine Bordean also won through the qualification rounds to the final where once again they produced a strong performance to take the club's second Gold.

In the junior grade cadet team kata event the club entered 3 teams and the "B" team of Sammy Goodsell, Ted Kinnersley and Ania Szczepaniak took a creditable 3rd place. The "A" team of Finley Lodge, Lawrence Bordean and Natalie Mycka stormed into the final where the repeated the sharp kata of the previous round to take Gold and make a clean sweep of the team kata events for the club.

In the individual categories Sensei Katie and Sensei Chris both won Gold in the Ladies Open and Veterans Open kata events respectively. Lawrence Bordean won Gold in the blue to brown belt cadet Open event!

Elle Osborne narrowly lost out in the final of the Cadet Senior Grade kata final to take the Silver medal and there were bronze medals for both Gary Hewitt and Chris Townsend respectively in the Adult Senior and Junior grade events.

In the Kumite events, Liam Belsom took Bronze in the mixed cadet 6-7 years open event with Daniel Kennard fighting through to the final where he won Gold in a close fought fight.

Finley Lodge took Bronze in the Boy's 8-9 years Open where Lawrence Bordean also won Silver.

In the boys 10-12 years event Adam Axford was in confident mood and won through to the final where he beat his opponent convincingly to take Gold. Christine Bordean also reached the final in the Girls 10-12 year event where again she won through in extra time to take Gold.

In the Girl's 13-15 years event Elle Osborne had to fight a "Round Robin" format but beat both of her opponents without conceding a point to take Gold.

In the Adult events Sensei Katie fought a hard final against another England team member in the Ladies Open but Katie's speed and power was too much for her and she took Gold.

In the Veterans event Sensei Chris won Silver after a hard fight with the current World Veterans Heavyweight Champion.

The club also entered a Men's team of Sensei Chris, Marcus Prescott and Jamie Hardy. This was the first experience of a team event for Marcus and Jamie and they fought well but the team lost out to the eventual Bronze medal team of Blackheath "B" 2-1.

After the presentation of the medals to the category winners Sensei Chris was honoured to be awarded the Shield for "Best Competitor of the Day" by Shihan Eddie Daniels 8th Dan, World Chief Instructor with Kimura Shukokai International.

Once the tournament was over it was back on the bus for the long ride back to Kent via a short food stop!! Overall the day was a tremendous success and once again congratulations go to all competitors, win or lose. A big "Thank You" goes to all the parents and supporters of the club; without you it would be impossible for the children to achieve what they have!