We are extremely proud to announce that we now have two JKS world champions in our ranks. A massive congratulations to Amber Bannister who is now 16-17 Female Kumite Champion and Johann Santos who is 16-17 Male Kata Champion.
Both were part of a 38-strong England team that competed on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th September the 2016 JKS World Championships being held on home soil in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. The event is the top sporting event in the JKS Organisation and is held every two years. The last one was held in Tokyo, Japan and the next one is being held in Montreal, Canada in 2018. The event saw 761 entries from twenty-seven countries with some scintillating karate on display over the two days.
Amber and Johann were a part of the 38-strong English team lead by coaches Matt Price and Nick Heald that came a brilliant second in the medal table behind Japan. Head of JKS England Alan Campbell commented on the teams performance "our best performance in our history, there were so many fantastic team and individual performances, I congratulate every one of you"
Amber and Johann were also joined in the England team by fellow Walsall Karate Dojo competitors Lewis Bradbury, Tanya Handley and Millie Stanley. Millie was only competing in kata and did superbly achieving a bronze medal in 14-15 Female kata in what was her first international event. In the final she only lost out to two Japanese girls who were superb. Lewis also deserves a special mention having recovered this year from a knee operation to repair a torn meniscus. He was selected for kata and kumite. He went through all preliminary rounds in kata eventually achieving 5th place. He also won his first kumite match well before narrowly losing out in the second round which was an extremely brave performance after his recovery from surgery earlier this year. Tanya was selected for Kumite and lost in her first fight to a very good South African who competed regularly on the WKF premier league, invaluable experience. However, she went on to receive a silver medal as reserve in the England ladies kumite team that only lost in the final.
Johann, who is already EKF English and BKF British all-styles kata champion too, added to his Gold medal in the individual kata by claiming a Bronze as part of the Senior Male Team Kata event. The team also included Lee Lamb and Jordan Weatherley from Kensho dojo in Newcastle. They finished behind Japan in fist place and Italy in second place. A superb result.
Amber had a weekend to remember and put herself on the global JKS global stage having already become 14-15 European kata champion in Denmark two years ago. It did not quite work in individual kata this time with Amber finishing in a credible 5th place. However, she more than made up for it in every other event. Not only did she win Gold in 16-17 Individual kumite, she won an additional two gold medals in 16-17 Female Team Kata and 16-17 Female Team Kumite. She was also promoted to the Senior Female team where she won a Silver in both Senior Female Team Kata and Senior Female Team Kumite. The highlight was a superb battle with Japans Mayumi Someya, 2 times WKF Premier League winner and WKF World Bronze medallist, in the final of the Team Kumite event. As she did at the EKF English all-styles championships earlier this year, she came away with more medals that anyone else at the championships with her 3 Golds and 2 Silver. An inspirational all-round performance.
It was such a pleasure to see our competitors in action. They not only performed superbly, but, along with the rest of the England squad behaved impeccably with so much maturity in success as well as defeat. They are a credit to themselves, their families, the JKS and Karate in general.
We must also say a big thank you to those associated with the dojo that travelled to the event to support our guys and the JKS England team.