Recently a number of members of the ESKA squad had the opportunity to be selected for the upcoming WUKF Karate World Championships in Dundee, which will be taking place from July 13th to 16th https://dundee2023.uk/
What is the WUKF?
The World Union of Karate-Do Federations (WUKF) is a democratic non-profit making international karate body, and one of the largest in the karate world with over 50 member countries, numbering thousands of karate clubs and associations (https://www.wukf-karate.org/) In the UK it is the AMA (Amateur Martial Association, https://amauk.org/) that is affiliated to the WUKF, and the successful ESKA squad members will be representing the AMA England National Squad in July later this year.
11th WUKF World Karate Championships
The event is expected to attract around 5000 competitors, coaches and officials, and the last time it was held in Dundee in 2018 it generated almost £10M for the local economy. Previous championships venues have included Dublin, Bratislava, Cluj-Napoca and Fort Lauderdale, and next year’s destination of Monterrey in Mexico has just been announced.
Traditionally the National squad has been selected by collating previous results at the various AMA competitions that have been held in the last twelve months or so, but this year they decided to be different and hold number of selection trials. The ESKA karateka who had been put forward by Sensei Gillespie had to travel down to Surrey in late April to the English Karate Kan (http://www.ekkassociation.com/) dojo run by Sensei Enzo Quirino. Sensei Quirino is one of only two AMA senior karate coaches, and certainly pushed all the attendees hard.
The first hour was mainly fitness and conditioning: this is obviously something Sensei Quirino very firmly believes in as he had a seemingly never-ending series of exercises for everyone to follow. The second hour was focussed on strength and power with all students performing a number of basic kihon combinations. They may have been basic techniques but he always wanted them delivered with full power and kime, and no let-up in the speed. And even though they were ‘only’ basic punches, kicks and stances, the order was different to ESKA kihon basics so everyone’s brain was given a work-out as well. The third hour was when the kata and kumite actually happened! Sensei Quirino observed everyone, gave individual feedback and then decided who had made the squad. Overall, a fairly simple but effective decision-making process.
Unfortunately, not everyone was initially successful but Sensei Quirino was happy to allow those ESKA squad members who didn’t quite make it on this occasion a little more time at the AMA National competition in Bury, Manchester in late May, and also to attend some of the EKK squad sessions.
As of May 31st 2023, ESKA should be very pleased that a number of karateka have been selected to represent the AMA National squad
- Elena Clarkson
- Evelyn Llewellyn
- Zak Raw
- Casey Hunt
- Nic Petcov
- Max Galloway
- Oliver De Silva
- Rose Kusmierek-Peh
- Jack Galloway
- Jasmine Abrey
- Sensei Matt Allen
- Sensei Ian Walters
- Sensei John Gillespie
Once again, thanks are due to Sensei’s John Gillespie and Masaya Yumeda and the other coaches, Ian, Luke, Matt, Mick and Jasmine. And particular thanks to all the parents supporting their children; without that support the squad simply wouldn’t exist.