Striking Out with UCLU Karate

With the club looking to make an impact in their first ever competition, Catherine Graves gives us a first-hand account. (anything better?)

On the 22nd February the new UCLU Karate Club travelled to Sheffield to compete at BUCS, their first ever competition. On the Saturday, we competed in our respective Kata categories (that’s a kind of form or routine for those not au fait with karate terms), and all did ourselves and each other proud. The club has only been on the go since October, and yet came away with a silver medal courtesy of Rio Zeng who beat over 40 other competitors in his category, the Novice Kata.

Sunday brought the Kumite (sparring) section of the competition and Sensei Farzad kindly travelled up from London for some last minute coaching, and we were feeling confident for the day ahead. First up was Rio, and he successfully got through two rounds, and was heading for a sure third round win until he got a little over enthusiastic and was unfortunately disqualified for a slightly too heavy-handed punch. Then it was the turn of Rachael Houlton, Alex Blanks and myself, who progressed well; I lost to the eventual 4th placed competitor, Rachael managed to get into the repechage and put up a valiant effort and Alex advanced through several rounds but then unfortunately lost out to a resultant medallist. Moritz Falck, the favourite in his category, dominated the first and second rounds but then lost out to an unfortunate decision from the referees about level of force.

For some of the team it was their first experience of a national competition, and we all came away relishing the chance to compete again.The tournament brought us closer as a club, as we’re looking to enter the Team Kata and Kumite in future competitions. As a team we made a name for the UCLU Karate Club and for UCL itself, and are looking forward to entering many more competitions in the future


The club always welcomes new members, from absolute beginners to advanced, and have classes to suit any ability, and training details are:

Monday, 8-9pm, LA Fitness, Cavendish Mews North, off Hallam street, W1W 6JW (about 10 mins away from UCL).

Thursday, 8-9pm, LA Fitness, Cavendish Mews North, off Hallam street, W1W 6JW (about 10 mins away from UCL).

Friday, 7-8pm, FREE BEGINNERS CLASS (but all welcome), 1st Floor Dance Studio, Lewis Building, UCL.

Saturday, 10-11am, FREE informal session, Dojo, Bloomsbury Gym, UCL.

For more info, visit: