Karate Wales Inaugural Open Championships a Great Success


Karate Wales Governing Body came of age on Sunday June 21st when the first Karate Wales Open, held in Merthyr, was acclaimed a great success.

Five hundred entries from around the United Kingdom were in attendance including Wales' top clubs, and many of England's top WUKF and IKU aligned groups.

Also in attendance and very welcome were the squads of the Irish Karate Federation and the Irish Shotokan Karate Union.

Karate Wales Chief referee Andrew Jones was supported by more than twenty referees and judges from outside Wales, including many of Britain's most experienced and highly qualified officials.

The kata events, spread over all areas took up the early part of the day, not surprising considering the volume of competitors and the large number of categories.

Karate Wales and the organisers of the Welsh Karate League have taken great strides in giving Karateka with special needs a competitive platform and the three Special needs Kata events at the Open, the Under 14's, 14's and over and wheelchair users were given pride of place as all competitors were given medals and the winners presented with trophies by the VIP's present, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Merthyr; David & Deborah Isaac, Paralympic legend John Harris, Disability Sport Wales representative Simon Jones, Karate Union of Great Britain regional chief Kevin O'Neill and sponsor Graham Thatcher. 

The standard of Kata throughout was exceptional, with the English and Irish champions giving the Welsh a run for their money. 
Wales' best adults however came out on top as Leah Copeland of Vale Karate and Merthyr's own Richard Powell each won both the Shotokan and Open Kata categories for Ladies and Men respectively.

Kansei Coach Andrew Kanias joined Leah and Richard as a double champion as he won both the Men's 'Other Styles' and the Male Veterans event.

Richard's mother and Zentai coach Kay Powell took the family tally to three golds as she landed the Female Veteran kata gold medal!

In the children's events, the volume of good English and Irish youngsters meant they came close to dominating, but again Karate Wales' best shone through!

Sumaya Evans from Cardiff Shotokan and Griff Hughes from Vale Karate won the 9-10 Girls and boys events respectively, Aaliyah Wiley of Cardiff won the 11-12 Girls Kata and Emma Squire took the 13-15 Shotokan Kata gold.
Wattstown took a gold medal in the Parent & Child kata, with Craig and Katelyn Jones standing atop the podium and Vale Karate trio Chris Slack, Harrison Williams and Josh Dwyer, who earned a bronze medal at the WUKF Europeans when representing Karate Wales, continued their improvement to win the U16 Team kata event.

The Kumite was much anticipated and didn't disappoint!

Again England and Ireland had squads of quality on show, and won many of the categories, but Karate Wales' best youngsters can compete with the best anywhere and this was again evident as Mackenzie Aitchison of Cwmafan Bushi-Kai in the Boys 6-8 years and Morgan Harvey of Ken Bu Kan in the Boys 11-12's were both triumphant.

Welsh Karate Jutsu Kai siblings Trinity and Krisiny Hutchinson each won gold medals in the  13-14 Girls Kumite in the -165cm and 165cm+ categories respectively.

In the cadet events (15-17 years) Chloe Morgan of Torashin shone to take gold and Ken Bu Kan duo Brandon Harvey (-55Kg) and WUKF World Champion Sam Cana (-70Kg) were not to be denied!

Amy Davis of Wattstown in the -65Kg Ladies Kumite and Karate Wales' IKU European and World Champion Luke Howard in the Men's -75Kg were both triumphant in the adult Kumite events.

Three Karate Wales clubs won team gold medals; Vale Karate in the 9-10 Boys, Ken Bu Kan in the 13-14 Boys and Talbot in the 13-14 Girls.
A Karate Wales select team competed in the Ladies team event and they didn't disappoint as Amy Davis, Leah Copeland and Katie Rees brought the curtain down on what was very possibly Wales' best ever competition, with Gold medals.

A big thank you and well done to all concerned.

Please click here for details of the full results for the Karate Wales Open


Under 14 Special Needs Kata

Wheelchair Users Kata


8-9 Kata Boys

9-10 Kata Boys

Boys Team Kata


Boys 13-14 Team Kumite

Karate Wales Select Ladies Team

Male Cadets -70kg

Male Kumite -75kg

Karate Wales Squad




Karate Wales Ltd.  

Registered in England and Wales Karate Wales Ltd. Company No. 09718948.  

Registered Office: 

Gwenhafdre, St Mary Church, Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, CF71 7LT

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