Once again, we see new clubs joining JKS England & Wales, and nice to see some previous members re-joining, it’s good to have you all on board and we can all look forward to a great 2017.
We’ve seen the squads compete all over the British Isles and worldwide, gaining success wherever they go, the JKS World Championships was JKS England’s greatest success to date finishing 2nd only to Japan on the medal table, JKS Wales did themselves proud too coming a very credible 12th place. Some members realised their dream of taking on the Japanese team and boy did they do just that! We saw the likes of Ashley Scott-Heald not just take on but beat her Japanese opponent, such an inspiring and deserved captain of the JKS England Squad, all bouts with the Japanese team regardless of result were close fought and showed that we don’t turn up to take part but to win! We manged to send a large team of officials who all contributed to an amazing event, this was only possible thanks to Geoff Dixon who worked so hard to develop the referees and official programme through the previous year and leading up to the championships. Our Squad coaches Matt Price & Nick Heald for JKS England and Matthew Stockham for Wales are rightly proud of all the success they have overseen in 2016 and they will be pushing for more in 2017, that’s a definite!
We hosted some terrific seminars in 2016 with Japan HQ instructors, including Kagawa Shihan, Okamoto Sensei and Arimoto Sensei, we’ve had our own seniors deliver fantastic seminars too, but it’s been great to see the up and coming instructors get the recognition through guest slots on courses and also pleasing is to see the interaction of clubs inviting instructors to each other’s dojo’s.
There have been two visits to Japan, at the beginning of the year for Kangeiko once again and the international seminar more recently in November/December, success on this was seen by Wendy Preston, our Admin & licencing Officer sit and pass her 4th Dan, a testament to never giving up, regardless of injury setbacks, self-doubt or the fact that all previous Dan gradings from 1st to 3rd Dan were not passed at the first attempt, a lesson for all. In talking about Dan examinations special mention to Derek Stockham & Matthew Stockham who graded for 4th & 5th Dan respectively at the World Championships, Derek proving that “there’s life in the old dog yet” by putting in a top-notch performance in front of Kagawa Shihan (who does like to see a good scrap!).
We all want the JKS to grow and succeed, we have karate in the Olympics in Tokyo 2020, wouldn’t it be amazing to have JKS members involved in that? It’s not impossible and it’s great to be able to offer that pathway for those that have the desire to follow it.
The continued support of longstanding members is never underestimated, their enthusiasm is the same as day one, long may it continue.
2017 will be another amazing year I know, so here’s to everyone, have a great Christmas and an excellent new year.
JKS England & Wales