Karate club makes grade in Japan

Seven members of the Palmerston North Universal Shotokan Karate Club travelled to the home of the sport in Japan for their black belt gradings.

Brad Stevens, Jenny Nixey, Julie Tanner, Cameron Prescott, Peter Munn, Lewis Pettiford and Paige Angus-Campbell all attended the USKU International Karate tournament in Takanabe recently for competition and to complete their grading.

They can't grade in New Zealand because there aren't enough high-ranked people in the country for it, so they had to travel to Japan.

Ther were 290 competitors from Japan, Australia, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand.

Nixey and Tanner finished in the top three in the women's kata (patterns) at the tournament, while Stevens was in the top six in kumite (sparring).

All the Palmerston North members passed their grading in front of a panel of Kenichi Fukamizu shihan (USKU 8th dan), Brian Koenig sensei (USKU 6th dan) and Morgan Dilks sensei (USKU 5th dan).

The two kids, Pettiford and Angus-Campbell, stayed in homes stays, while the rest of the adults were in community halls.

The club trains at the Palmerston North Intermediate School gym.

Manawatu Standard