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.


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.


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.


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.


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!