For the sixth successive season, Vale Karate have finished at the top of the medal table in the WKL. The final event was a tough one for Vale karate with the strong squad's from ESKU/GKR and ESKF as well as the regular squads from around Wales and England once again providing a competition of quality.

At the Finals day in Merthyr, as well as the competition medals, the overall top three in each category over the season were revealed and also rewarded with beautiful trophies.

Vale Karate's first medal of the day came via Bradley James with his seventh gold medal of an unbeaten season in the U14 Special Needs category. Connor Ashill was second adding a silver to his own collection.
Lucas Widdringtion took a silver in the 14+ Spcial Needs event behind the excellent Tyler Foster of Merthyr Zentai.

Ellie-Jayne Farrugia and Danica Apologista took bronzes in the 6-15 years Shotokan event, before Angel Manayani took a silver in the U8 Girls Kata, her second to go alongside the four gold's she's won.
Jakob Bartush was bronze medallist in the U8 Boys, but like Angel, his performances this season guarantee that he finished as Champion of Champions!
The trio of Amelie Fisher, Elle-Mai lee and Jack Eustace had also done enough this season to take the three Champion of Champions podium places in the U10 Novice kata section, so although none took a medal in Merthyr, it didn't affect their trophy winning day.
Lloyd Beer rose to the challenge to take a bronze. Lloyd also took a bronze in Kumite, but finished just outside the overall top three.
Elle-Mae took a Kumite bronze and added the 3rd place trophy to her collection.

Ellie-Jayne took a silver in the U12 Advanced Girls Kata to add to the 1st place trophy she was awarded.

Emillie Thompson has just started competing again after a break, however the talent she has led to her winning her pool, only to take a silver behind the excellent ESKF girl in the final.

Greg James took a Kata bronze, unfortunately just finishing outside the top three this season.

Chiara Baker was the runaway leader in the u14 Girls Advanced kata and took her sixth gold medal of the year and of course took the Champions trophy.

Danica Apologista took another bronze in the U16 Girls Kata, and a second place trophy. In the U14 Girls kumite, Alysha Lee took a bronze and a 3rd place trophy.

Josh Davies didn't take part in the U16 Boys kumite, but had already secured the Champions trophy. Chris Slack had last entered the individual event at WKL 1, when he took silver. He entered in Merthyr and his pure ability saw him see off all comers to take the gold medal. in a season when the medals have been widespread, this also earned Chris the Overall 3rd place trophy. much to his surprise!

Leah has concentrated on coaching for most of this season and entered the kata in only the last two events, winning both. she again took the double in Merthyr also winning the kumite!

Luke hasn't entered all season, but joined the cause in Merthyr and shone, comfortably takin goth gold medal. 

Leah and Luke were then joined by Kee (silver in the veterans Kumite) to comfortably win the Adult team event.
Vale entered the final event with a five gold medal lead, so looked to be in a good position to pull off the win, however halfway through the day, the squads were neck and neck with Vale taking a gold here, ESKU/GKR taking a gold there...
In there end our more experienced campaigners cam to our rescue and eventually Vale took 59 Golds, ESKU/GKR took 56 with Kansei the next squad on 31.

We took nine Champion of Champions trophies:
Bradley James
Angel Manayani
Jakob Bartush
Amelie Fisher
Ellie-Jayne Farrugia
Chiara Baker
Josh Davies
Sarah Morgan
Leah Copeland
Well done to all our athletes, parents, officials and supporters for another memorable season!

2018 Karate Wales Youth Open Championships

A Big Well Done to our young medalists from the Karate Wales Youth Open on Sunday February 25th which took place at Merthyr Leisure Viillage, also to all who competed, but missed a medal on this occasion.

Many thanks to our Coaches LeahLuke and Josh.
Our stewards Alysha and Lauren and our table officials Jenny and Kyriakiand our Referee Doru.

Also a big thank you to all our great parents who as always, go above and beyond supporting their children and our club.

Five Welsh Champions! Chiara, the star of the show, winning both the U16 Girls Open Kata and the U16 Girls Shotokan Kata!
Jakob, a month after his sixth birthday won his first Welsh title, with first Welsh titles also going to Lloyd and Heidi.

Hopefully, nobody missed, feel free to comment if so!

Vale results:

Chiara Kata Gold
Chiara Kata Gold
Heidi Kata Gold
Jakob Kata Gold
Lloyd Kata Gold

Greg Kumite Silver
Bradley Kata Silver
Ellie-Jayne Kata Silver
Talia Kata Silver
Amelie Kata Silver
Elle-Mai Kata Silver
Jack Kata Silver
Alysha Kumite Silver

Elle-Mai, Amelie, Heidi Kata Bronze
Ellie-Jayne Kata Bronze
Greg Kata Bronze
Josh Kumite Bronze
Emillie Kumite Bronze


As a small number of students missed the December '17 Grading due to illness, holidays etc. Vale Karate held a 'Late Grading' on Saturday January 20th.

Five Tigers (4-6 Years) progressed to Green Stripe, four Junior Beginners gained their Yellow belts (9th Kyu) with one new 6th Kyu first class (Riley) one new 4th Kyu (Maddie) and a new 2nd Kyu (Tom)

A special word of congratulations to Ieuan, who is our newest Junior Black Belt.

Congratulations all!



Friday 15th, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th December was witness to a hive of activity within Vale Karate, Club Night on the Friday was perhaps the busiest since 90 of our members took part in our Red Nose Day event  in March. Of course many were there as it was a final chance to prepare for the Grading which took place on the weekend, but only half the class was dedicated to grading prep, as we then enjoyed a Fun Night, with Sensei Kee leading the class in a variety of moves to music, including a memorable 'Twelve Days of Christmas', with press-ups accompanying every number... "Twelve Drummers Drumming" (press-up) "Eleven Pipers Piping" (press-up) etc.. A lot of press-ups!

Saturday saw the younger and lower grades of the club grading, with 22 Tigers, the same number as in July, starting the day, which was ended with five 4th Kyu children earning their Brown Belts swelling our advanced grades ranks.

Sunday was the turn of our Brown Belts (and a small group of Kyu grade adults) and ended with the Dan Grading.

Gradings at Vale Karate are a private affair, as we believe parents watching, would be a unnecessary distraction, however we open the blinds for the final part of the grading, the Kumite as a bit of encouragement to the exhausted grades is helpful and welcome.

We had three attempting their Dan Grading, Greg was going for Junior Shodan, Grace attempted Adult Shodan and Chiara was attempting Junior 2nd Dan. The first such grading in Vale Karate!

The atmosphere was electric as the supporters cheered them on and all three negotiated the grading successfully, with some truly top quality Karate on show. A great way to end the year for Vale Karate.


Five Vale Karate athletes were proud to be part of the small but very strong Karate Wales squad which attended the IKU (International Karate Union) World Championships, held in Kilkenny, Ireland from the 19th -22nd October 2017.

All categories were tough, but the quality of our squad shone through as Ellie-Jayne Farrugia in the Children's 10-11 categories earned a silver in Kata and another silver in Kumite!
Vale Karate's double WUKF European Champion, Chiara Baker, competing in the Young Ladies 12-13 year age groups took a bronze in Kumite and a silver in Kata, both Ellie-Jayne and Chiara missed kata golds by whiskers!

Alysha Lee also went all the way to the final in the Female Cadets 14-15 Kumite and also very narrowly missed the gold medal to take Vale Karate's third silver to add to a bronze medal.

The senior events featured Vale's coaches Leah Copeland and Luke Howard.
Luke is no stranger to winning major events and is already a multiple WUKF/UWK and IKU World Champion.
He was a class above his adversaries in Kilkenny and with some great displays, was once again the IKU World Champion! 

Like Chiara and Ellie-Jayne, Leah's Kata looked good enough for gold, and like her students, the flags went against her in the Kata final, by the narrowest of margins 3-2!

However she was not to be denied in the Kumite and earned her first Global title with a great win.

Congratulations must also go to the other members of the Karate Wales squad who came back with a tremendous haul of medals.

TOP: Those who attended Club Night congratulate our International medallists
BELOW: Leah, Luke, Alysha, Chiara & Ellie-Jayne with their medals.