Martial artists impress at British Open meet

Referee Jim Weir, Champion Kirsty McAlpine, Kenneth Putka, Steve Mackay and Chief instructor James Ford 7th dan
Referee Jim Weir, Champion Kirsty McAlpine, Kenneth Putka, Steve Mackay and Chief instructor James Ford 7th dan

Dreams were made for several students recently at the biggest event on the British Karate Calendar.

Fife and Perth Shotokan karate association SK2000 were represented by four of their clubs at the BKF British Karate International Open, held in Sheffield over two days.

Students from Cowdenbeath, the East Neuk, and Leven all made the journey to South Yorkshire to compete.

Leven’s Kenneth Putka won the silver medal in the boys Kata for his second place finish on day one.

It was followed up in the afternoon with Samantha Maxwell of Cowdenbeath reaching the final of the girls kumite and achieving the silver medal after several top class fights

Day two was to provide more thrills and spills.

Leven’s James Ford had the opportunity to recapture his British Senior Mens’ Kata title by reaching when he reached last four.

After locking horns with the best in Britain, James came away with a creditable third place bronze medal.

Scottish and British title holder Melissa Maxwell returned from injury to put in a blistering performance, beating the French and English top seeds en-route to winning the national title in her female kumite event

The mr and mrs duo from the East Neuk club in Cellardyke provided the surprise results with Kirsty McAlpine and partner Steve Mackay, both in the veterans kumite categories, picking up medals in their first attempt.

Kirsty claimed the female veteran kumite British title whilst Steve reached the final of the male veteran kumite, celebrating a second place finish with a silver.

Also competing at these championships for the first time were juniors Cameron Mackay and Robyn Ironside of East Neuk.

East Neuk and Leven instructor Steve Mackay said: “It’s been a long hard road for many of the students who competed, months of tough training sessions and preparation, arduous travelling to events, waiting around and delays add to the pressure.

“You can travel all that way and be beaten in the first round, that’s the disappointment you have to get used to.

“The mental toughness required is arguably more important than having the physical ability but what a feeling to see our efforts being rewarded.”

Chief instructor and head of SK2000, James Ford seventh dan, watched his son James pick up a medal.

He said: “I’m over the moon at what we have achieved.

“Hard work always pays off and it’s pleasing to see it all come together for the students that do just that, work hard.

“We were eigth on the medal table out of 50 clubs who took part which is brilliant for our association.”

Lundin Links was represented by instructor and BKF refereeing official Jim Weir.