The 2016 National Championships were always going to be different, a new venue, students who hadn't competed in a couple of years returning to competition and the atmosphere which was very much like the 1990's once again.
This year the Championships were held at Reeds School, Cobham. Students travelled from far and wide with the Spanish making the trip once again and for the first time Cardiff University. The turnout was one of the best in recent years, with the UK instructors all bringing strong contingents. The level of skill on display was fantastic, Professor Geir Store from Norway, who makes the trip every year and gives his time freely, was not called on to the mats once and this a great testament to all the Instructors who have been working and drilling their students hard which showed through the control competitors exhibited. There was a closely fought team kumite match between Cardiff and Spain, with the former taking the match 2-1.
It was also great to see many new officials starting their journey officiating at their first Championships, with the old hands showing and helping them the teams all worked really well together. It was great to see students from England, Spain and Wales all talking and cheering each other on, some new friendships made which will hopefully last a lifetime.
Our congratulations to Charlie Hobbs on winning the Graham Smith Memorial Trophy. Charlies hard work and commitment to his students in the face of some difficult times, when it would have been easy to through in the towel resonated with many of the Senior Grades who nominated him, a very worthy winner.
To everyone who came, competed, officiated thank you for making it a really good day, many people who had been turned off competition came away inspired to do more. We look forward to seeing you all at the Washinkai Trophy and Cup on Sunday October 9th 2016, same venue!