Phoenix trio rise to national championships challenge

MARTIAL ARTS: Phoenix Karate Schools can proudly boast that they have three national karate champions in their ranks.

After last weekend’s AMA National Karate Championships at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre in Bradford, Gorleston’s Sophie Stephenson, Great Yarmouth’s Frasier Thompson and Lowestoft’s Zara Williams all won their sections, beating some high-class opposition in the process.

Eight year old Zara was first out on the mats and fought like a demon to reach her final where she dominated her opponent and took a comfortable win. Zara was so proud of her first major trophy that her mum said she took it to bed with her, so she didn’t lose it!

Sophie was in good form, beating her semi-final opponent six points to nil, but found the final a bit harder, winning by only two points.

In her shobu ippon event she went out before the trophies, to the eventual winner.

Frasier looked unbeatable in his shobu ippon section, storming through the rounds to take a well-deserved title.

In his weight category he went out in the quarter-finals.

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His performance makes him as a favourite to be picked for the AMA squad to attend the European Karate Championships in Hungary in October.

Claudia Anderson from Blundeston and Simone Folkes from Martham both fought through to reach the finals of their respective individual weight categories, but could not find the openings to create the winning techniques.

Simone also entered the shobu ippon where she took a third-place trophy.

In the ladies’ kumite, Helen Andreous, fighting for the first time in over three years, came a respectable second to a more experienced fighter.

The final trophy went to Lowestoft’s Daniel Smith who took third in the 15-17 boys under 70kg section. Daniel was unable to make any impression on a highly-motivated and experienced rival.

Also competing in the kumite were Brooke Davis, Cody Lucas, Samuel Snowling, Travis Anderson and Amaan Ayub, all fighting in their first major competition. Each put on a good display but were knocked out before the medals.

Sophie Stephenson, Travis and Ebony Halladay took part in the kata events but were up against some serious competition and also finished outside the trophies.

Chief instructor Charlie Trorey 5th Dan said: “I would like to thank all those who came to support, Kim Russell from HR GO for lending us the mini-bus, Jon Davis for driving, James Allan and Dean Snowling for helping me coach and the 14 competitors for showing the rest of the country what talent we have here on the coast at Phoenix Karate Schools.”

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