Kata squad has karate magic

The English Shotokan Karate Association s (ESKA) kata squad walked away with an amazing selection of medals and trophies from a national competition. The local squad entered the Wado-Kai England s fifth All England Open Karate Championships in Reading. Th

The English Shotokan Karate Association's (ESKA) kata squad walked away with an amazing selection of medals and trophies from a national competition.

The local squad entered the Wado-Kai England's fifth All England Open Karate Championships in Reading.

They are run by Paul Grimsey and John Gillespie (both fourth degree black belts) and train regularly at Baldock Town Hall and Stevenage Leisure Centre.

The pair show ESKA students how to apply their traditional karate techniques in a competition arena.

The Reading competition saw the boys' team came up against a team including the 15-times British champion in the finals. They narrowly missed out on victory by only losing two flags to one.

The results from the day were:

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First place: Jake Field (Woolmer Green) - 11 to 15 years, up to and including purple belt). Second places: Charlie Fisher (Birchwood); Haig Leonard (Stevenage); Daniel Croucher (Stevenage) - team kata (all ages/grades/gender). Third places: Paul Grimsey (Stevenage/Hitchin) - men's kata 16 years and over, brown belt and above); Laura Gillespie (Ware) - ladies' kata 16 years and over, brown belt and above; Jessica Croucher (Stevenage/Stopsley) - ladies' kata 16 years and over, brown belt and above).

The ESKA has its main club at Stevenage Leisure Centre which is run by Sensei Michael Nursey (seventh degree black belt).

Training is on Mondays and Thursdays and call 01234 376450 for further details. Alternatively other clubs in the area can be found on www.eska.org.uk