Karatedo Shitokai New Zealand

Founded in 1966 by Sensei Bob Dalton. New Zealand Representative for WSKF and APSKF

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2011 Commonwealth Karate Championships, Sydney, 29-31 JULY
 
The NZ team, the biggest ever to attend an International tournament, enjoyed great success in Sydney over the weekend of 29-31st July. These Commonwealth Karate Championships were by far the best attended championships ever, and the NZ team performed superbly, leading the gold medal and the overall medal tally.

This is the first time in Commonwealth history that the host country has not led the medal tally, and it is a tribute to all the hard training, excellent coaching, and a very good management team, that success was achieved. Make no mistake, NZ holds its head very high in international Karate, and with its young team is building real depth for the future.

Karatedo Shitokai NZ had four members in the team, Nicky Roberts, Zara Wech, Matthew Baird and Matt Burns, and they all performed very well. Matt Burns missed out on a medal, but performed with distinction in both Senior Men Kata and Kumite, winning his first International Senior Men Kumite bout with a superb Jodan Uramaewashi, then going on to win two Kata rounds. Unfortunately Matt was concussed later in the Senior Men and was not allowed to compete in the -21 mens Kumite, but continued his steady improvement in International competition.

Zara Wech won Gold in the Junior Women -48kg Kumite. For the first time she was competing against other girls of her own size (in NZ she is almost always the smallest competitor in Junior Women Kumite), and performed brilliantly, winning all of her three fights convincingly, and in the final putting up a very nice Jodan Maewashigeri with 11 seconds remaining  to win with style. Zara is a Karateka who continually surprises, trains hard, has lots of courage and ever improving technique. Next year should be a good one for her.

Matthew Baird also brought his number one game to the tournament, losing the repecharge in the Senior Mens Kata to the top Australian, but coming out with a Commonwealth Senior Mens Kata ranking of number 5, which is not too bad. He then won Bronze in the -21 Mens Kata (he drew Chris Rahardja in the semi final, and Chris is looking superb at the moment, and is unstoppable), but then won his repecharge for Bronze quite convincingly.

Once again however, the standout Karatedo Shitokai member was Nicky Roberts. It is difficult to put in words just what Nicky is achieving this year. She capped off a fantastic three weeks of competition (Gold in NZ Champs, Gold in Sugihara International Cup, all without dropping a flag) with a superb performance in Sydney. In the Senior Women Kata (a huge field, using two mats), Nicky won her mat final with ease, taking out the top Australian woman in the first free round, (they both put out their best kata, Chatanyara Kushanku), and going on to win the mat final.

One felt sorry for the Australian, she and Nicky should have been meeting in the final, because the Australian is an excellent Karateka, but that is the luck of the draw in International karate. In the final, Nicky met the number two Australian, who had had a slightly easier draw on mat two, and who was still holding her best kata, Suparinpei. Nicky had Tomari Bassai left which she was performing superbly, until she had a major foot slip,which is all that is needed in International competition, leaving the Australian to simply "keep her kata on the mat” to win. We will never know whether Nicky would have won without the slip, and Nicky was extremely angry with herself,as she knew why she slipped. However, a Commonwealth ranking of number two in Senior Women kata is no too bad, at only 18 years of age!

The next day in -21 Womens Kata, Nicky came out absolutely fired up (I have never seen her so focussed, she harnessed her anger from the first day in a most positive manner) to simply blow the opposition away, and won with total domination, to give her the gold medal she was determined to win after her senior women disappointment.

What next for Nicky? Hopefully she will be selected in the NZ team for the -21 World Champs in Malaysia in October. If selected what will be her result? Who knows, but whatever happens, Nicky will continue her incredible journey in Karate and continue to grow into the World class kata competitor she is becoming.

The Commonwealths proved that she bows her head to no other female Kata competitor, and with the continued coaching of Yukimitsu Hasegawa Sensei, her karate will continue to grow stronger, faster and more complete every year.

 
 
Matthew, Matt, Nicky and Zara at the 2011 Commonwealth, Sydney
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Karatedo Shitokai New Zealand

Founded in 1966 by the Late Sensei Bob Dalton and Official New Zealand Representative for World Shitokai Karate Federation and Asia Pasific Shitokai Karate Federation. WSKF, APSKF


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