On 1 July two members of the Luton Higashi karate club joined up to 1,000 other competitors at a karate competition held in Worcester. Liridona had decided to enter her first fighting (kumite) competition, as well as kata, which she has previously done.
A 2 hour journey led to the Worcester Arena where the members of the English Karate Federation waited to do battle. In her Kata event Dona was unlucky to be drawn against an international from the England representing the ‘Wado international Karate Federation’ Team, and again performed a very good kata. However the fates were not on her side this time and Dona bowed out of the competition. Within Kumite the fates again conspired against Dona as she found herself against a New Zealand International who had come over for the competition. Her opponent is a karate athlete who has fought at World Championships over the last 4 or 5 years. Undaunted Dona took the fight to her opponent, forcing her experienced opponent to move back, however Dona’s inexperience was a telling factor as her opponent used all her guile and ringcraft to land her counter punches. It was a successful day however as Dona had achieved 3 goals, not the least of which was to enter a competition, which many people (black belts included) find quite a nerve wracking experience.
The last competitor was myself coming out of retirement for the umpteenth time, and fighting in the veterans section. A slow start, winning 1-0, gradually improved with other wins including 8-0 in the semi final and 6-1 in the final, and entry back into retirement (again!).