Sunday, 12th June saw the first ever Wales and West Shotokan Karate Competition. 74 competitors from many different clubs in the area took part with over 100 spectators supporting them.

Representing Mendip, Japan Karate Association Club was Tom Elliot, 13, from Holcombe and a pupil at Writhlington School. Tom is a 1st Dan black belt with five years of diligent training and experience behind him.

Tom made an excellent start in Individual Kata, the first of four categories he had entered. He was rewarded with a silver medal for his effort and a fine performance in the final with a kata (form or pattern of moves) called Bassai Dai.

Next came Team Kata, where three people perform a kata in synchronicity. Tom had teamed up with two young Karateka from Newport and they showed no nerves or inexperience, even though they were competing against adult teams! Again, a silver medal for them for a great job.

The freestyle fighting was up next and Tom put up a superb performance in his age group of 10 to 15 years. Mitts and gumshield in place, he battled through the rounds to the final against a much bigger opponent and was unlucky to lose by a half point. Yet another silver medal.

The final and most fiercely contested category was the Team Kumite (fighting). Tom had been slotted into a team with two adults from Taunton and showed his spirit against the other teams. It was a Round Robin event, with several teams to fight. Tom did well, scoring points with good technique and power against much bigger and more experienced opponents. Finally after the last round, the team stepped up to receive their Silver medal!

So four Silvers for Tom this year. I am sure he will improve on that next year as a result of his exceptionally mature and dedicated attitude to Karate Do. Tom is this weekend travelling to The K2 in Crawley for the JKAE national Championships along with Andy Forster, Tom’s sensei and coach. We wish them every success against opponents from all over the country.

If you would like to be a part of Mendip Karate Club, we train three times a week in Chilcompton and Stratton-on-the-Fosse Village Halls and on Sunday mornings at Writhlington Sports Centre. Website:, Facebook page - Mendip Shotokan Karate or phone: Julie Morgan 01761 233268 or Andy Forster 01749 841260.

Julie Morgan