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Karate Ireland National’s 2017

A new era began for the Karate Ireland Nationals as a new venue, new format and new divisions shook up the old way, and breathed new life into one of Ireland’s most popular Karate events.

The National Indoor Arena at the Sport Ireland Campus was the new venue, and the fresh bright arena was the perfect venue for the event which began with children’s team Kata events at 9 am sharp – this itself a testament to the hard work of the organising committee.

The children’s divisions ran through until lunch time with Kata and Kumite across six areas. For the first time ever Karate Ireland included a Kobudo division. As the founder of Shotokan, O’Sensei Funakoshi himself is noted to have said, Karate and Kobudo are like the two wheels on the same cart, and in an effort to fully reflect Karate the introduction of Kobudo is a welcome development to the Nationals.

Twelve children stepped forward to take part in this newly introduced division and while Bo-jutsu was the weapon of choice for all the displays were outstanding.

This of course in no way took from the highest standard of Kata and Kumite which has come to be expected at the Karate Ireland Nationals with medals being hard earned across divisions which in some cases exceeded 30 participants.

As the children’s divisions came to a close and the hall started to clear of the young Karate-ka the cadets, seniors and veterans started to gather for their divisions. Here again the standard was simply outstanding. From the beginners to the most advanced black belts the speed, power and poise on display delighted the spectators present. A particular word of congratulations must go to Karate Ireland who included the Specially Challenged division where the athletes were made to feel an integral part of the whole event.

Kobudo was again a feature of the cadets and adults with Bo, Sai and Tuifa being the principle weapons on display on the day. The numbers taking part and the variety of weapons on show on the day a clear reflection of the need for this division to be included to cater for those who make weapons an integral part of their training.

As the day came to a close another hugely successful edition of the event was logged. With over 600 entries from all corners of Ireland representing 7 different Karate styles, 3 different weapons styles in 119 divisions across 6 competitive areas this was by far one of the biggest editions of this event.

Principle co-ordinator, Anthony Taylor, spoke with us after the event where he said that ‘This was a great event, the standard of Karate athletes on the day was so high, it was a pleasure to be a part of it’. Anthony added that on behalf of Karate Ireland members he wanted to say ‘thank you to all of the referees and volunteers who worked so hard throughout the day to see the success of this event. It was a fantastic achievement thanks to their exceptional dedication’.

While a well deserved rest is due, it will not be long now before the planning starts again to create an even bigger and better event 2018!