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2022 Summer of Success for Ichiban Dojo

Over the past few months our martial artists have not been spending most of their time enjoying the lovely summer we’ve had, instead they’ve been preparing for gradings, European and World Championships across the various clubs.

Kicking off the summer of action the judoka attended the BJC Nationals in Kettering. A very tough and well attended competition, the Ichiban team held their own, bringing home 5 National medals, a special congratulations to Carlo, who became Ichiban’s first National Judo Champion! Final Tally 1 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze.

Early in June Bill Root (93) was awarded his 7th Dan by the British Judo Council. In May, Bill was also honoured at the

Leeds Sports Awards, with a Lifetime Contribution to sport having participated and coached judo for most of his adult life. Bill still attends the Wednesday sessions at Ichiban and has been key to developing the judoka of Ichiban.

On the 26th June, one of our karate instructors, Kylie successfully graded for her 5th dan, ably assisted by her uke’s (partners) Kieron, Layjha and Alex.

At the end of June 8 members of our karate team who were selected to represent, Dokan Karate England travelled to the USA to take part in their first World Championships. The 10th WUKF World Championships were held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Attended by over 34 countries and more than 1340 competitors this was the biggest stage yet for the young karate team. The team exceeded all expectations across the pond, bringing back 6 World Medals. 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 3 Bronze and in so doing crowning the first Ichiban Karate World Champions. This was an exceptional achievement by the young squad, especially considering every one of them were attending their 1st World Championships and that the squad consisted of relatively young members between the ages of 7 and 15 who all had only between 1 and 5 year’s experience. Congratulations to our karateka and their coaches, Kylie and Kieron, for developing these young karateka from complete beginners to World Champions.

Following on from the success of the karate team, the Aikido team attended the WSAF (Worldwide Sport Aikido Federation) European Championships, held in Dartford on 16th and 17th July. Being the first major aikido competition since before covid lockdown, there was plenty of excitement. Ichiban took down a very young and inexperienced team on the most part, many of which were competing in their first big competition. The Ichiban members as part of Team GB did extremely well bringing home, a nice even 9 Gold Medals, 9 Silver Medals and 9 Bronze medals. In so doing, being a major contributor to the Junior, Youth and the Senior GB Teams being crowned European Champions, with the Cadets Team narrowly placing second. The aikidoka are now setting their sights on the World Championships in Japan in 2023. Well done to the squad and the coaches that helped these aikidoka achieve such fabulous results.

Following this, more notable dan grades were achieved by the club’s aikido instructors. Mark Aldridge achieved his 6th Dan in Aikido and Bob Jones was also awarded his 8th Dan in aikido. Decades and decades of training, coaching and commitment have gone into achieving these grades. Congratulations!

In just a matter of months Ichiban martial artists have achieved 3 high dan grade awards, 6 World Karate Medals, 27 European Aikido medals and 5 National judo medals. We’re all so proud of the achievements of each and every one of the martial artists at Ichiban and are extremely excited for what the future holds. Since lockdown, the dojo has seen a large intake of new juniors across all the martial arts. There’s a renewed energy in all the classes and across all the members, whether competitive or not, to firstly enjoy their martial art and secondly become as good as they can.

We’re looking forward to seeing what the clubs will do in the last quarter of 2022 and 2023. Both aikido and karate alone, look to be set for an exciting 2023 with World Championships on the agenda!


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