Bradley and Lucas reach a milestone at the Winter Grading.

Over eighty of our students earned new ranks at the Winter General Grading on December 16th 2019.
The Gradings, as ever, were an all-day affair from 9am until after 5pm, as all students were staggered, attending in small groups, with Sensei Rob scrutinising all students in detail, from Tigers as young as 4 years old, to adults in their 40s and 50s, and from absolute beginners to those attempting Black Belt.

Three youngsters of first Kyu reached the milestone of Black belt; Kimi, daughter of our longest serving Dan Grades, Kee, was joined by Bradley and Lucas.
Brad and Lucas started Karate several years ago as such younger children in the Special Needs class. Both have worked tirelessly over the years, graduating to our mainstream classes and though it took them longer than most, have made quite incredible improvements. It was a proud day for Vale Karate when they were awarded their Back Belts!

Well done all. As always, a great way to end the year!

Vale Karate land two WUKF European titles!

Karate Wales can reflect on the 10th WUKF European Championships For All Ages, in Malta, as a milestone.

Ranked eighth of fifty-five federations present and with a squad of forty-nine athletes and six coaches, amongst almost two thousand total entries, Karate Wales earned their best ever tally of ten gold, four silver and eight bronze medals, which could have been an even more impressive tally, as there were many Welsh Karate athletes who shone, but were unable to clear the final hurdle to reach the podium.

Vale Karate, based at The Dojo at Barry Leisure Centre had eight members of the squad and every one of them impressed!

Jakob Bartush, just six years old, was the youngest member of the squad. He competed in both the Under 7 Kata and Kumite events.

Last season’s Welsh Karate League Under 8 Kata Champion, he is already used to pressure and wasn’t overawed by the huge arena packed with competitors, officials and supporters and reached the finals of both events, winning the Kata and earning a silver in the Kumite!

Talia Efstathiou, was the class act in the 10 years Girls Kata event and established a substantial lead in the first round, adding to it in the final to comfortably take the Gold medal.

Mayzi Lee, the youngest of three sisters in the squad showed grit and determination to progress through the rounds, earning a great silver medal in the Girls 7 years Kumite, 10 year old Elle-Mai, in a larger group also had to dig deep, earning a bronze medal.

The eldest of the Lee’s, fifteen-year-old Alysha, had the toughest job ahead of her going up against many seasoned internationals!

She was in brilliant form winning round after round, and missed a place in the final by a whisker, earning a bronze medal.

Alysha and team-mate Grace McIntosh were members of the Wales Female Cadet Team, which reached the final, only to lose narrowly to the strong Romanian team, earning silver medals.

Emillie Thompson is regarded by the coaches at Vale Karate as possessing huge potential! Her talent is unquestioned, and she was unlucky not to progress to the latter rounds.

Chiara Baker was the final Vale member of the squad, competing in one of the biggest categories, the 13-14 Girls Kata.

Twice previously a WUKF European Champion Chiara easily negotiated the first round, being in the top six of well over thirty competitors.

Her second round Kata also earned her a good score but she was tied with two others for a place in the final six.

Her next Kata was the subject of controversy as the tatami chief suspected a mistake, although this was not the case, and video evidence wasn’t looked at, lower than expected scores were the result and Chiara missed the final by the narrowest of margins.

Vale Karate has long been Wales’ most successful club, and has won the Welsh Karate League for the past six seasons! This season however, they are in second place after four of seven events, so the WKL top club award is in the balance!

WKL 5, takes place at Cardiff City House of Sport on 25th November.

SUMMER GRADING

As has become tradition, The Summer grading on July 21st and 22nd brought the curtain down on the end of term, and as the kids break up for the Summer Holidays, Vale Karate reduce our classes for the Summer, go to Classes for the Summer Schedule.
Fifteen Tigers (our 4-6 year olds) showed great discipline and talent to progress while at the other end of the spectrum, years and years down the road, we had four new Black Belts, two Juniors, Holly and Jay and two adults, Dennis and Mark.

The grading  throughout was very pleasing, showing what perhaps is obvious, that a big club, with many small classes is a recipe for high standards.

Well done to everyone who undertook the challenge and emerged triumphant.

SIX KARATE WALES TITLES FOR VALE!

Only a small Vale Squad competed at the Karate Wales Open held in Merthyr on July 15th, but were nevertheless third on the medal table and as almost always, the most successful Welsh club, actually one of only a handful of squads comprising a single club.

Sensei Leah once again led from the front with two Golds, Winning both the Ladies Open Kumite, and Ladies Shotokan Kata.
Also Welsh titles for Jakob, Ed, Bradley and Talia!

Amelie, Alysha, Lucas, Mayzi, Greg & Connor also found rostrum places.
And a number of good performances which weren’t rewarded with medals on this occasion.

Many thanks to our coach; Sensei Luke for supporting the squad and of course our referee Doru our table officials Kiki and Jenny and the massive support of our children’s parents!
Full results and the medal table available on the Karate Wales website.

SPRING GRADING

a reasonably quiet, but successful grading took place on Saturday April 21st. 

Just over 50 Vale Karate students split into four groups spread across the day, underwent the examination in the special environment of the Dojo, and made it a day to remember.

Many children will now change classes.
Our new 7th Kyu Green Belts will now train on an hour later, at 7pm on Tuesdays and our new 6th Kyu Blue Belts will now train on Wednesdays at 6pm.

Well done all.