Competition gets the chop

Students from Samurai Pinelands Dojo were among the national karate team that participated in the World Karate Championships held in Sweden.

The team won Kimura Shukokai Karate (KSI) for the fourth time in a row, beating 20 other countries.

Proud sensei Bradley Grant-Smith says they brought home eight gold medals, which has really boosted their confidence.

He says the success is the fruit of their hard work and dedication.

Grant-Smith says the team members were between the ages of 10 and 60, and for some this was their first experience overseas and an opportunity to learn and explore outside their comfort zones.

“Our team has now won the past four World Championships by having the highest medal count, 40 in total, this year achieving eight more gold medals than the country that placed second.”

He says for them it is important to participate in international competitions because this helps them gain experience, build confidence, contribute to the world group with a high level of good conduct, and reach out with continued respect and friendship towards competitors from different countries.

He says their recipe for success is committing to the training, learning from mistakes and learning from the instructors.

He advises anyone interested in martial arts to find a reputable dojo with instructors who are passionate about the development of juniors and which covers all spectrums.

Grant-Smith is among those who did well for the team as he won all the fights in the men’s middleweight Kumite division and became the KSI Karate men’s middleweight world champion, winning a total of nine fights back to back.

He earned himself a spot at the KSI European Open in Portugal in 2019 and the next World Championships which will be held in Cape Town in 2020.

His team member, Rio Kerford, says she got valuable experience at the championships that will enhance her abilities in martial arts.

She says it was her first time participating in an international competition and she is looking forward to more such opportunities. “It was an exciting high-level competition. Everyone was very spirited and we all became one big family. Karate has its own way of uniting different people with the same goal. Now I know I have to keep my game up and do even better next time.”