Tallaght play host to World Karate Society international tournament

TALLAGHT Leisure Centre recently played host to a World Karate Society international tournament, which saw a team representing Ireland take on their English counterparts.

The core of the Irish team was made up of members of Blessington Kenpo Karate Club, and was complemented from a contingent from White Tiger Martial Arts from Castlebar Co Mayo.

karate

Team England’s elite squad was drawn from clubs from London, Norfolk, North Yorkshire and Birmingham.

The North Wicklow Club was set up by Len Stokes, who grew up in Raheen, after he moved to the town in 1999..

In 2012, Len helped oversee the setting up of the “Little Ninja’s Karate” to cater for a growing demand from younger persons in the area to get involved in the sport.

Since then the club has gone from strength to strength and today boasts a junior membership of 196 children and 25 adults (including six senior black belt instructors) training out of a custom Dojo (Fight Fit Dojo) facility in Blessington Business Park.

At the invitation of Stephen Powell, the President of the World Karate Society, the club organised the international tournament at the Leisure Centre located on Fortunestown Way.

The teams competed throughout the day in many disciplines including kata, weapons kata, musical kata, and kumite sparring.

 Favourites for the title, tournament experts Team England, raced into an early lead after the morning kata divisions.

The afternoon brought the sparring divisions and Team Ireland began a massive fight back. With some of the Junior’s in their first-ever competition, they raised their game and began to dominate the sparring contest.

Time and again a clean sweep of 1st 2nd and 3rd placing were achieved.

 Massive performances by Leah, Grace and Olivia Quigley, Sonia McDonald Faith and Grace Keeley, Luke O’Brien, Eli Horan, Shane Small, Aoife O’Rourke, Chelsie Mulvey, Sine, Fiadh, Oisin O’Neill, Pauric and Rian Cullen began to tip the balance for Team Ireland.

The duo of Courtney Stokes and Shauna Mahon claimed two of the top three spots in the Ladies Senior, and Michael Stokes took Gold in the Over-55 section of the sparring competition.

Alan Bruce Keith Skelly both took silvers in the Junior section of this event.

Sadly the early kata display scores had built up enough of a lead for Team England to hang on and narrowly clinch the title.

The day was most notable for the excellent spirit, sportsmanship and atmosphere created by the competitors and supporters alike.

Next year Team Ireland head to Norfolk to contest the games once again, in what will be an annual event.

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