Wakefield karate novices test themselves in English Open

Three members of Wakefield’s West Yorkshire Karate Kyokushin took part in the English Open Full Contact tournament at Bracknell Leisure Centre, near London.

By Tony Harber
Friday, 27th May 2022, 10:47 am

More than 170 fighters representing 45 teams from 18 organisations entered in what is one of the toughest forms of combat outside of the octogen ring.

Vladimir Panak and Lawrence Abernethy both competed in the middleweight men’s novice category. Lawrence fought an experienced higher grade to win his first round, but lost in the second to an equally tough opponent.

Kyle Stewart, however, who competed in the men’s novice heavyweight went on to win his category after fighting three heavier opponents.

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Members of the Wakefield-based West Yorkshire Karate Kyokushin train at St Andrew's Parish Church.

All three took up Kyokushin Karate in the first lockdown and have consistently trained throughout. This is a full contact style of combat where the emphasis is on conditioning and fitness.

Punching and elbows are allowed to the body,, but not the head, kicks and knees are, however, allowed to body and face.

The club is now training for the British Open in October where the more experienced fighters will also be taking part. Training is on Wednesdays and Fridays 7-9pm at St Andrew's Parish Church, Peterson Road, Wakefield. Classes are mixed and beginners and children are always welcome.

Kyle Stewart pictured on the podium (competitor on the left) after winning his category at the English Open Full Contact tournament at Bracknell Leisure Centre.