sponsors of Wadokai England Karate
sponsors of Wadokai England Karate
“Great oaks from little acorns grow”
or how three members of the Wadokai England Squad
travelled to Lisbon with the hope of becoming the first ever Sakagami Cup Champions
by Suze Ralphson
On the day many of Wadokais finest were battling it out in Leicester for a place on the England Squad for the European Championships, Wadokai Portugal were hosting the first ever Sakagami Cup Tournament. The cup pits fighters from Wadokai Portugal against their counterparts from England in honour of the 8th Dan President of Federation European Wadokai, Sakagami Sensei. Founder and organiser of the tribute tournament Frederico Silva said that he hoped this inaugural competition would grow by reputation to include other European countries who would meet annually to pay tribute to Sakagami. He added that he wished the tournament to become “as respected as the Sensei in who’s honour it is held”.
In it’s infancy the cup is only open to male seniors (although Sensei Silva hopes
to have more categories in the future) so this lone female reporter boarded a plane
to Lisbon to spend the weekend with three of Wadokai England’s talented and enthusiastic
karateka; Leicester Karate Association’s Junaid Mulla, and Shizen-
Our hotel was so new that it squeaked which meant that whilst the accommodation was
far superior to the usual hostel/low-
“It is here,
somewhere, this road.
Maybe. I think.
You get out here.
After finding our feet in the city and on a high from England’s 3-
Keenan (acting as coach for the weekend) revved us up with talk of the importance
of winning an inaugural tournament match, telling us of the Shito-
Suitably energised, the three men warmed-
Keenan Pedley was first up for England. The competitors were well-
Junaid Mulla faced a heavier opponent in his first bout but managed to build up a four point lead before the Portuguese man landed a ferocious mawashi geri to bring the match almost equal. Mulla took time to applaud his opponent before calmly executing three perfect Gyaku zukis in a row to win the match.
With a two win lead John Lefevre faced the final fighter of the host nation. A scrappy
fighter who had allowed John to settle in to a comfortable draw-
Three fights, three wins for the English and what looked like an uncomfortable climb for the hosts. Despite this the crowd was enthusiastic and cheered on their boys. It should be noted that they supported good techniques from both sides and when the English landed a good point the crowd responded with good humour and polite applause.
Mulla’s second fight was less mobile with both competitors focussing more on hand
techniques but Mulla had a speed and accuracy that snaked through his opponent’s
wider guard and at one point left his rival bent over and winded. Mulla took the
match. Pedley still looked fresh at the start of his second bout and steadily built
on a relaxed first couple of points with some excellent combinations as his adversary
began to tire and drop his guard. A ribcage-
With five wins in the bag and the Portuguese without a single match win, the cup
was firmly in the hands of the English allowing Lefevre and Mulla to try out their
techniques and focus less on building up points. John won his match by 2 points and
Junaid narrowly lost his, also by 2. Once Keenan had been patched up by the on-
To much flag waving and cheering from us, a delighted England trio held their trophies aloft as they took their place as the first ever winners of the Sakagami Cup.
The significant verdict of eight wins to one was testament to the quality coaching of our England fighters at national and domestic level and to the dedication of Keenan, John and Junaid. This is not to demean the Portuguese team who showed some excellent techniques and will certainly be ones to watch in Venice in November.
We were also impressed by the quality of the competition as a whole and particularly the high standard of decisive impartial refereeing and judging by our Portuguese hosts. We would like to thank Sensei Silva for his hospitality and graciousness and for organising what we hope will become a major event in the Wadokai calendar in years to come where Wadokai England will no doubt defend their new title.
|Wayne Otto OBE|
|European Championships 2012 report|
|European Championships 2012 personal view|
|European championship 2012 selections|
|Wadokai England 2013 selection list|
|JFK masters course 2013|
|Sakagami Challenge Lisbon 2012|
|World championships 2010|
|FEW 38th Europeans Lisbon 2013|
|FEW Europeans Venice 2013|
|Lisbon pictures 2014|
|Wadokai Calander 2014|