ENCOMPASSING five categories of fighters, Barry Kyokushin Karate Club has hosted a highly successful junior tournament - a first for chief instructor Senpai Phill Sedgmond.

It was a busy and exciting inter-club tournament also involving Rising Sun Kyokushin, where, many years ago, both Senpai Phill and Rising Sun instructor Senpai Spencer Bennett trained together.

Barry Kyokushin girls dominated the first category, taking four trophies. It was incredibly close between the four girls and all fought very hard. Josey Allen was runner-up, while third place went to Lucy Chick after an incredibly close fight to the final. Leanne Lirio gave her all for a very well deserved second place and first place went to a very determined Justine Bolanos who has worked incredibly hard throughout her training.

Category Two was also very close, with Barry Kyokushin and Rising Sun taking two trophies apiece. The category was for children between the ages of five and six who were all taking part in their first tournament. Przemystaw Cienki (Barry) was runner-up after a very determined two rounds, while Cerys Case, also Barry, landed third place after winning her second round. But it was Rising Sun student Cody Roberts who was second, and Senpai Spencer’s son Oscar who was winner. Obviously, a chip off the old block!

Category Three provided more glory for Barry Kyokushin with three trophies. Sebastian Barczewski was third after a close fight to the final, Jacob Murphy was second after winning two rounds and a very close final, while first place went to Ben Bolanos after three incredible fights. Despite fatigue from extended fights, Ben continued to fight very hard.

Category Four attracted the biggest entry of 12 fighters, with Barry Kyokushin unfortunate not to place after some really close fights. Rising Sun filled the top three spots, with Connor Denbury taking third place after a very close fight with Barry’s Tomek Cyzynski. Max Ladner was second following three very demanding fights, and Ben Antony enjoyed a well deserved triumph after winning all four fights.

Category Five was for the older juniors, with both Barry Kyokushin and Rising Sun having a handful of incredibly strong fighters. It was the former's Luke Murphy who was third, using his speed and power to take the lead over much bigger boys. Second spot went to Rising Sun’s Akash Benny after three very strong fights and it was clubmate George Cox who finished first - a much-deserved win for a very strong fighter.

Senpai Phill said: "This was a great step forward for Barry Kyokushin and a momentous occasion to have this tournament with Senpai Spencer and Rising Sun. Building bridges and moving away from the political nonsense that has plagued our beloved karate is a good move for this sport."

"The day went without a hitch. It was planned carefully over a few months and attention to detail was key. The performances from fighters from both clubs were outstanding. The kids have got some real experience and these types of events really bring out their the confidence. And that was my main goal. I was very pleased to see everyone leaving with smiles on their faces."

Barry Kyokushin Karate train out of Casteland Community Centre. Students are taken from the age of six; for further info check out www.bkkc.co.uk or call 01446 408974.