Report from London Karate Cup – 14 February 2010
With only an evening’s rest the LSE team arose early the next day for the London Karate Cup and put in yet an another impressive performance, deploying very naturally the resilience and commitment which their coach, Sensei Ghazi, has very carefully cultivated during the last few months of training.
The club was represented by Sensei Dario Ghazi, club captain Sam Mir, Velin Djidjev, Ardavan Ghazi and Karen Dolph. All returned from the tournament with a medal. In total the club secured a further 5 medals – 2 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze.
For the LSE men, Dario, Sam, Velin and Ardavan, the competition started with the male individual kata event. The first to perform was Dario, who gave a superb performance of the technically challenging kata ‘Unsu’, demonstrating his incredible strength and depth of experience. The scores were unbelievably close, putting Dario third in a very tight final. Sam and Velin came next, each performing solidly and placing 4th and 5th respectively, narrowly missing out on the podium action. Ardavan Ghazi, the youngest and most novice member of the LSE squad, showed himself intent on living up to the performances and examples of his more advanced peers, notwithstanding that it was his first tournament. Ardavan performed all of his katas with spirit and strength, going all the way to the finals, where he took silver. He displayed the same motivation in his individual fights, where he showed a superior ability and awareness of strategy in each match, winning all of his fights with a combination of fast punches and kicks and eventually defeating the favourite in his category to take the gold.
Sam and Velin’s successes continued in their individual fighting events. Each of their fights served as a platform to show the skills they had so carefully honed during the preceding months of training. Both deployed impeccable strategy, defeating each opponent quickly and efficiently, whether by fast and timely counter punches, explosive and unstoppable attacks or perfectly placed kicks. Velin narrowly lost out on a medal in the quarter final. Having achieved spectacular victories in his first two bouts, wowing the audience with scores of 8:0 and 8:1, Sam went straight to the semi finals where he narrowly lost the match but took another bronze medal for the LSE.
The last event for the day was the team kumite. The LSE team had three members – Sam, Velin and Karen. This was yet another chance for them to demonstrate their abilities, which they did magnificently. The team marched to the finals, dispatching stiff competition along the way from members of national team. In the final, Karen was unsuccessful, but Velin took his match with a score of 7:5. The score was now 1 win to each team and all eyes looked to Sam, who did not disappoint. Cheered on by the excited audience Sam started comfortably with a couple of kicks. His opponent put in a great deal of effort trying to turn the match around. But nothing could stop the LSE captain. Sam took the match 8:6 with a succession of sharp punches to the head, leading his team to gold. Sensei Dario Ghazi coached and encouraged from the sidelines, clearly proud to see another incredible performance from his students.
With a total tally of 17 medals in one weekend, the LSE team showed once more the dividends of their hard work and dedication in training, under the expert guidance of Sensei Dario Ghazi. “I’m quietly confident that the experience and adrenaline from these competitions will inspire the team to even greater things in the months ahead”, said Sensei Dario.
Whatever happens the LSE Karate Club clearly has a rep’ to protect. With impressive successes at the Students Nationals late last year and the Southern Regions and London Karate Cup this year, much is expected of the club in the months to come. Watch this space!
The LSE Karate Club trains in the old gym beginners are always welcome, as are experienced karateka.