18th SKDUN Gichin Funakoshi World Shotokan Championships

Lons Le Saunier, France – 9/10th October 2010

The SSKI contingent!
Adam Cockfield scores with a chudan mawashi–geri
Leah Groom on the attack with jodan mawashi–geri
The SSKI London club competitors with the Chief Instructor
A very jubilant Dave Galloway and all of Team England
World Champion – Dave Galloway

Team England (SEKU & SSKI) Results

Men’s Open-Weight Kumite
1st Dave Galloway (World Champion)

Men’s –75k Kumite
3rd Dave Galloway

Ladies –55k Kumite
3rd Rachael Houlton

Girl’s Kumite
3rd Brooke Walklin

Cadet Girl’s Team Kumite
3rd Team England (Emily Nutbean, Rebecca Nutbean, Leah Groom)

Adult Mixed Team Kumite
3rd Team England (Teiki Benveniste, Rachael Houlton, Lee Wilkinson, Rebecca Cox, Matt Smith)

A superb trip to Lons Le Saunier in France was had by all the competitors, coaches, two Chief Instructors, Mick Dewey sensei and Malcolm Phipps sensei, the three referees, Alan Lewis, Chris Carr and Terry Oliver and all the spectators and, considering the excellent opposition, the results were very good as well. 36 countries competed in these championships with a total of 750 competitors from all over the globe.

The highlight of these championships for Team England was Dave Galloway of SEKU winning the individual showcase event, the Men’s Open Kumite event in real style. Dave had to beat an amazing array of top competitors to win this very prestigious title and on his way to the gold beat one of the best Romanians, one of the best of the Congo team and in the final beat the Belarus opponent by four wazari to one; a true world champion indeed! Rachael Houlton of SSKI carried on her medal winning ways and took a bronze in her individual event and another bronze in the Mixed Team Kumite event. She took a heavy blow to her right eye in the individual event which gave her a very nasty black eye but she battled on to take the bronze in style and considering she is only a third kyu brown-belt, she did herself and Team England proud. Dave Galloway also took a bronze in his weight category beating Teiki Benveniste in the quarter-final in an excellent and very close match. The cadet girl’s team of Leah Groom, Emily and Rebecca Nutbean also took a well-deserved bronze medal, as did the Adult Mixed Kumite team of Teiki Benveniste, Rachael Houlton, Lee Wilkinson, Rebecca Cox and Matt Smith, only losing out to the very strong Romanian team. Young Brooke Walklin also took a bronze in the girl’s kumite event.

Considering the traumatic start to the trip, especially finding themselves on a campsite which was about 25 miles from the venue and that was closed down for the winter, the team rallied round and the trip turned out to be an excellent one. The Dunkirk spirit all over again! The two Associations had a wonderful camaraderie together and got on with the job in the true spirit of karatedo and in the face of a fair bit of adversity. There was a lot of fun and a lot of hard work but it was all worth it in the end. The final evening was a lot of fun with singing and joke telling at its very best. Thanks to Chris Carr for all his jokes, Matty Powell for his dirty Irish singing and wonderful impressions (one of which was of his sensei Mick Dewey, which was superb), and Mange Tout and Petit Pois to Alan Lewis!

Well done to everyone involved in an unforgettable journey and many, many thanks to Terry Oliver and Adam Cockfield from SEKU and SSKI respectively for arranging the whole trip. Here’s to Germany next year. Don’t forget your pegs!!!