Due to the Corona Virus Pandemic, the TKF Club Competition which was to be held in May was understandably cancelled. However, this didn’t stop TKF from organising a competition which all TKF members could participate in. TKF introduced an online Virtual Kata Competition which saw members eagerly sending in their kata performances to earn a spot in the Virtual Kata Final.

On Wednesday 15th April, TKF announced a Virtual Kata Competition which was open for all TKF members to participate in. The rules were very simple; record your kata, whether it be a grading kata or favourite competition kata, no editing, and send their performance for analysing. This was a great way to keep the competition spirit within the club especially for those who were eager to show what they were made of and for current squad members, a chance to show the progress they had made during their own independent training. There were three categories, a Lower Grade Category (White Belt to Purple and White Belt), a Higher Grade Category (Brown Belt and Above) and an Adult Category. Competition was tough as the number of kata videos that TKF started to receive was building with some excellent potential finalists in all the categories which was going to make judging a tough feat. The judges would analyse each of the katas and follow the competition kata criteria for assessing kata. The judges would mark the kata based on the competitors technique first and foremost which would equate to 70% of the total score. The other 30% of the marking would be based on other aspects of the kata such as speed, strength, attitude and vigour. The scoring criteria would be between 6.5 and 8.5 with 7.5 being the average score. The scores that were then provided by the judges would then be tallied to provide a total score. The top three scores from each category would then progress to the final. With 27 competitors in total across the board, the judges got to work and analysed each kata carefully before providing a score. There were some brilliant performances with plenty of squad members submitting their entries as well as several members with hardly any competition experience which was great to see. It can always be daunting for the inexperienced members but clearly this didn’t stop them from putting on a great show and proving that even in the unusual circumstances that they are still determined! You can see the full list of competitors at the bottom of this blog.

Out of 13 Lower Grades, 9 Higher Grades and 5 Adults, the finalists were announced. Battling in the Lower Grade Category was Gabriel Magkrachi (Yellow Belt), Oliver Curtis (Purple and White Belt) and Zoey Kaczor (Yellow Belt). In the Higher Grade final, Ellie Rose Fyfe (Black Belt), Olly Howell Hoye (Brown and Double White Belt) and Edward Copsey (Brown and Double White Belt) would go head to head for the title. And last but not least, in the Adult final, Freddie Grice (Black Belt), Doug Middleton (Brown and White Belt) and Amanda Neale (Purple Belt). All these competitors had performed well enough to earn their place in the kata final of their respective category. They would have to perform a different kata to the one they performed in the previous round and the judges would follow the same criteria for these katas.

On Sunday 27th April, all the finalists had sent their entries in and the judges had provided their scores for each kata which then provided the final scores. In the Lower Grade category, Gabriel and Zoey both performed the red belt kata Heian Nidan while Oliver performed Heian Sandan. All three performed brilliantly whether it was in the kitchen, living room or the garden. All the competitors performed with great attitude and determination so it was always going to be a tough round. In the end, Gabriel emerged victorious with his performance, earning the first Gold Medal of the TKF Virtual Kata Competition with Oliver following in second place and Zoey in third. Then came the Higher Grade category, with all three in the current TKF Squad, this was always going to be an exciting final and close scoring between the three of them. All three competitors went for advanced katas with Olly performing Kanku Sho, Ellie opted for Gankaku and Edward chose one of the longer katas, Gojushiho Sho. The result was very tight and after a solid Gankaku, Ellie managed to secure the Gold Medal for the Higher Grade category followed by Edward for the Silver medal and Olly settling for the Bronze respectively. In the adult category, we saw TKF member Amanda perform Heian Sandan which followed a brilliant Heian Godan in the first round which secured her place in the final. Current TKF Squad member Doug Middleton who opted to perform a Kanazawa Bo Kata and experienced competitor Freddie Grice had also performed well to ensure their place in the final. The final outcome saw Freddie earn the Gold Medal after performing Sochin, Amanda claimed Silver and Doug, Bronze.

Overall, it was great to see plenty of members having a go and it was also a great way to see that members were still keeping up their training even during these strange times whether it was independently and/or training along to the TKF classes online. You can see the full results below.
Lower Grades;
Gold-Gabriel Magkrachi
Silver-Oliver Curtis
Bronze-Zoey Kaczor

Higher Grades;
Gold-Ellie Rose Fyfe
Silver-Edward Copsey
Bronze-Olly Howell Hoye

Gold-Freddie Grice
Silver-Amanda Neale
Bronze-Doug Middleton

Special Mentions;
Izabel Tasheva, Jake Norris, Emily Norris, Dexter Hayman, Tanay Gadre, Brody Farrow, Raghav Narayanan, Ruan Ekkerd, Harry Bithell, Ruby Mills, Colin Hayman, Sammie Howlett, Katie Middleton, Dylan Harvey Chloe Ladbrooke, Sophie Thompson, Robyn Bithell and Edward Cushing.