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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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Tournament Review: WSKA World Championships 2005
by Nick Heald

(photo courtesy of Phil Hampel)

Chicago and the American Shotokan Karate Association played host to the bi-annual WSKA World Championships over the first weekend of October 2005 at the Harper Rainy College. The event proved to be a great success, not just in terms of a quality competition, but a quality production as well.

With 21 countries competing, all of the junior events took place on the first day along with the senior kata for both males and females. The second day was left over for the remaining senior events.

Whilst the atmosphere on the Saturday was good, the Sunday saw a packed house and an electric atmosphere. The crowd, in their thousands, were treated to Karate of the highest standard. The crowd were also treated to a dynamic demonstration by Frank Brennan of the KUGB who, when attacked by four opponents, quickly despatched them using a variety of techniques showing his skill and brilliance







(photo courtesy of Phil Hampel) 

For me, the most exciting events were the Ladies Team Kata, Ladies Kumite, Mens Kumite and Mens Team Kumite.

In the Ladies Team Kata event, the very strong Austrian Team of Doris Gwinner (Senior Champion), Yasemin Guengoer (Junior Champion) and Ursula Inzinger produced a superb performance of Unsu to beat the excellent Polish Team consisting of Agnieska Wolna, Marta Szymczak and Michalina Loboda, also performing Unsu. Both teams were quite superb, with performances far ahead of those in the Mens event (in my opinion!).

(photo courtesy of Phil Hampel) 


The Ladies Kumite event produced a very exciting final between Shareena Edmonds of England and Krisztina Zsigmond of Hungary. The Hungarian fighter dominated the fight early on with a south paw stance and with succession of fast left handed gyaku tsuki’s, she clocked up a 3-0 lead in a sanbon final. With only half a minute left on the clock, Shareena seemed to get a second wind. Firstly she took a point with a fast punch, she then equalised with a full Ippon for a Jodan Ura-mawashi geri. Finally another fast punch saw her take the title that had seemed destined for Hungary just 30 seconds earlier!


(photo courtesy of Robert Beczarski)


The Mens Kumite saw some superb fights during the eliminations leaving a last four of Shane Dorfman of South Africa, Fehmi Mahalla of Switzerland, Christian Gruener of Germany and Daniel Ruess of Switzerland.
Mahalla in particular had been in spectacular form winning each fight by Ippon on his way through to the finals. He showed excellent variety and agility for a very big man. He combined sweeps, throws and fast kicks to dispose of all his opponents, including local hero Jim Buchen in the last 8. However, he met his match in the skilful and elusive Gruener. Gruener gained a half point early with a fast punch and showed tremendous ring craft in avoiding his opponents many attacks. Then with time running out he lunged in low to take the match with a long gyaku tsuki. In the other semi final Shane Dorfman quickly disposed of the other Swiss fighter with two fast attacks.

The final therefore matched two contrasting styles, the elusive athletic style of Gruener against the straight line aggressive style of Dorfman. Early on Dorfman took the lead with a thunderous Chudan Mawashi Geri that seemed to boom around the arena. He was awarded Wazari. He then took Ippon with a Jodan Mawashi Geri. Gruener’s elusiveness seemed to vanish and Dorfman narrowly missed with another Mawashi that whipped over the German’s head. Moments later Dorfman found the target again with a Mawashi to Gruener’s head that was awarded Ippon. The sound of the impact of this kick brought a gasp from the crowd and it is the Gruener’s great credit that he made no fuss about a kick that would have felled many an opponent. And so it was that Shane Dorfman took the WSKA World title in spectacular and convincing style!

(photo courtesy of Robert Beczarski)


The final event of the day was the Mens Team Kumite which pitched the strong Polish Team against the home country, the USA. The crowd were really behind the USA and sure enough they were treated to a classic finish. With the first two fights ending in draws and the next two ending in an Ippon win for each side, all fell to the last fight to decide the match. The US Team changed their order from previous rounds and put their star man, Jim Buchen, last. Sure enough he was able to deliver. He took the lead with an attacking Gyku Tsuki and as the Pole attacked with a Mawashi, he countered to take his fight and give the USA the World Team title. The crowd’s reaction was incredible. A very exciting finish to a very exciting Championships!

(photo courtesy of Robert Beczarski)



Male Cadet Individual Kata
1 Thomas Kaserer - Austria
2 Christoph Haller - Austria
3 Michael Calistro - USA
4 Dale Weber - USA

Female Junior Individual Kata
1 Yasemin Guengoer - Austria
2 Carlotta Prete - Italy
3 Franziska Krieg - Germany
4 Elisa Orsi - Italy

Male Junior Individual Kata
1 Jose Ramirez - Spain
2 Thomas Kaserer - Austria
3 Tomasz Drozdzynski - Poland
4 Antony Duffy - England

Male Cadet Individual Kumite
1 Michael Roop - USA
2 Thomas Kaserer - Austria
3 Thomas Gorney - USA
3 Christoph Haller - Austria

Female Junior Individual Kumite
1 Ashley DiPasquale - USA
2 Alice Pischedda - Italy
3 Ivana Bogojevic - Sweden
3 Valeria Marelli - Italy

Male Junior Individual Kumite
1 Nika Tsurtsumia - Germany
2 Florian Neissl - Austria
3 Nicholas Masse - USA
3 Radovan Simic - Switzerland

Male Junior Team Kumite
1 England
2 Austria
3 Sweden


Female Senior Individual Kata
1 Doris Gwinner - Austria
2 Agnieszka Wolna - Poland
3 Yasemin Guengoer - Austria
4 Sabine Schneider - Germany

Male Senior Individual Kata
1 Fabrizio Curcuraci - Italy
2 Fabio Cattaneo - Italy
3 Peter Schvarcz - Hungary
4 Wojciech Bloch - Poland

Female Senior Team Kata
1 Austria
2 Poland
3 Italy
4 Belarussia

Male Senior Team Kata
1 Italy
2 Austria
3 Poland
4 England

Female Senior Individual Kumite
1 Shareena Edmonds - England
2 Krisztina Zsigmond - Hungary
3 Lindsey Painchaud - USA
3 Orsolya Varga - Hungary

Male Senior Individual Kumite
1 Shane Dorfman - South Africa
2 Christian Gruener - Germany
3 Fehmi Mahalla - Switzerland
3 Daniel Ruegg - Switzerland

Female Seniors Team Kumite
1 Poland
2 England
3 Hungary

Male Senior Team Kumite
2 Poland
3 Sweden
3 Germany