CHOJINKAI, Penrith 11th of March 2018


This was the twelfth Chojinaki tournament and Dokan have attended around eight of the twelve. No other competition offers as many kids categories or has as many splits as this one. It is on paper the fairest children’s tournament in Britain, but the reality was a tad different this year, with a drastic shortage of competent refs and table staff. Despite being undermanned the tournament ran fairly smoothly to finish at around 7.30pm, which in itself was an accomplishment.


Dokan entered a huge squad of fifty students and between them they won 94 medals, which includes the 34 gold medals. The tally was so high because once again we were very successful in the team and pairs kata sections. Despite a few upsets the day was a huge success, not only in the volume of medals but by the performances of virtually all our students. The improvements over the last two months are huge and I was really pleased to see my hard work and the kids hard work coming together at last to produce a high-quality squad of rising karate stars.


The entire club was on a progressive upper, which for me almost made up for any poor decisions.

I was going to mention a few names, as some students did exceptionally well, but I know from past experiences singling out students for praise can cause bitter jealousy, so I will tell you one little individual story from the day only.

Maddison Taylor age 11, first dan black belt : Maddison started karate age 6 she gained her black belt age 11 and that in itself tells you Madz has commitment. She entered her first tournament age 6 and has competed regularly throughout her karate years. Although she is not an (in your face) type of personality Madz has a steel like inner determination, she never gives up and knows exactly what is expected of her as a higher grade in her groups and as a team captain in kumite. Madz is a proper Dokan girl.

On Sunday prior to her even starting her individual events Madz did not feel well. Now bouts of nausea can be caused by nerves alone, especially in younger competitors but Madz is an experienced veteran and knows full well how to control this so when I heard she was unwell I KNEW SHE WAS UNWELL. I spoke to Madz and offered to pull her out of individual kumite but she refused. She fought through to win silver and felt worse by the end. I spoke to her about the team and suggested I change the running order to put her on third, frequently the third man does not have to fight and as many teams only have two competitors it is quite important to have a third person listed as you get that victory 9 points to zero. This would have been the easier option for Madz and if she did not feel up to the bout when she was called she could pull out then and there. Madz declined my offer, she is Team Captain and she insisted on leading her team in all four of their rounds. She fought first and fought hard and brilliantly to reach the final with her team.

THIS IS THE DOKAN TEAM SPIRIT I try to instil into all of my squad, any parents watching my ten-year olds and over in their team fighting and individual fighting sections will see the support and comradeship we have throughout the club. Many times, other coaches and refs have remarked to me about how unusual my squad is in the extent of their support to each other. It is no fluke, I work behind the scenes to create this feeling.

If Madz had withdrawn, she would have felt bad within herself and her self-esteem would be dented. Now she can leave the tournament feeling pleased with herself, her parents have the right to feel mega proud. Her team mates will not only be grateful, but both of them and all the other six Dokan girls watching, now have a role model to aspire to and they will understand what is expected of them at future tournaments.

When Madz first started as tiny cute six-year-old I nick named her super Madz. To me she really is Super Madz.