Fighters battle in sparring bouts

Kicks and punches were flying at the weekend when South Norfolk Shotokan Karate Group held their second free-sparring competition.

The South Norfolk group consists of four clubs, at Rocklands, Old Buckenham, Attleborough and East Harling.

The competition was held at Attleborough’s sports hall and they also held a karate kata competition as well.

Turnout for this event was really good, with just over 50 students, both juniors and seniors. Everyone was firing on all cylinders, and the whole day was a good experience for all the fighters. The club hope to take some of the more experienced fighters to represent SNKG at a Northampton competition in early July.

Richard Reynolds, the club’s chief instructor and has been teaching shotokan karate for almost 26 years, said: “Karate is mentally tiring –- concentration is 80 percent of the sport, but it’s a great confidence builder, teaches balance and fitness.

“Karate is about self-defence, and competitions like this allows the student a chance to demonstrate their skills.”

And Nigel Etteridge, instructor for East Harling, added: “We have a good deal of support from the parents and that’s encouraging for the club and the youngsters”

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Special thanks go to Richard Cooper and Duncan Good, without whom the competition couldn’t have taken place.

These two, who are senior karate black belt students, attended referee coures, so that they could referee competitons.

They also presented the students with their trophies – there were first, second and third places awarded in each of the six categories.

Anyone wishing to join any of the karate clubs should contact Richard Reynolds 4th Dan on 01953 456224.