Phoenix karate students shine

MARTIAL ARTS: Students from the Phoenix Karate Schools based in the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft areas were again successful, competing in the AMA International Karate Championships at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield at the weekend.

Lowestoft’s Daniel Smith, Gorleston’s Sophie Stephenson and Simone Folkes from Martham were all in good form despite some recent setbacks in their training schedules.

The girls were first up in the 14-15 years team event. Fighting for the AMA they were up against the SKA in the final, with Sophie beating her opponent 3-0 on points.

Simone narrowly lost by half a point, but Lucy pulled back to win her fight 3-1.

Simone went on to reach the final in her individual section, where she faced Karate England International and 2010 WUKF World Championship gold medallist Hollie Roberts. Although Simone put up a good fight she could not fend off the attacks from Hollie, whose impressive kicking ability won the day.

Sophie fought in two individual sections. The first was the Shobu Sanbon where, despite still recovering from her recent bout of flu, she progressed through the rounds with ease.

In the final she met a Maltese opponent who had obviously been studying Sophie’s style of fighting through the earlier rounds and was ready for her favourite technique of hook-kick.

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So Sophie had to change her fighting approach and went straight in with gakasukis (reverse punch) and mawasha geris (round kick) to secure the match.

In the Shobu Ippon Open weight section, she took her first fight in three seconds with a hook-kick to the head, straight off the line, astounding her opponent with her speed. Sophie progressed through to the semi-finals where she fought a considerably larger girl and lost by half a point to the eventual winner.

Daniel returned to the competition circuit after recovering from a broken thumb, and although he fought well it was not enough to beat his opponent from the Bangladesh team and therefore he did not reach the medal positions.

Club instructors Wayne and Vivianne Trorey spent the two days officiating, and on Sunday, Vivianne was presented with her Continental Judge Certificate, awarded by the WUKF chief referee Sever Cucu.

AMA coach and Phoenix chief instructor Charlie Trorey fifth Dan was also present and supported the AMA squad.He commented: “This was a prestigious competition with first-class competitors and I felt that the students were not out their league in the company.”

n Anyone wishing to train with the Phoenix Karate schools at classes in Acle, Martham, Caister, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, Hopton, Oulton Broad, Beccles and Halesworth can contact Charlie on 01502 730171 or Vivianne on 07895 550168 for details.