National glory for city karate club

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THE Milton Keynes ECKA (English Contact Karate Association) Club recently took a team to the annual National Kickboxing Championship held in Coventry and returned with a host of medals, including three new National Champions.

The Championships consisted of fighters competing on mats for one two minute round – all competitors have to wear boxing gloves, foot protectors, head guards and gum shields.

All fights are continuous without stoppages and are scored with kicks and punches contacting the head and body, with a real emphasis on fitness.

The MK club, run by Sensei Mark Featherstone, had been training in preparation for the event for eight weeks, with intense sparring and fitness work which ultimately paid off as the team returned with some fantastic results.

The city club finished 2nd overall in the country, only behind the team from Coventry – run by the former World Champion and ECKA Chief Instructor Dev Barrett.

Eight year-old Antonio Beanini gained his first national title in the girls & boys under 4ft 4in section with a fantastic performance, while Lana Camp, 13, and also fighting for the first time, won the girls under 5ft section.

Completing the hat-trick of titles for the club, Charlie Bill, 16, used his experience when fighting in the boys cadets over 70kgs category to also become national champion, and will now be looking toward to next year’s WAKO British Championships as a real contender.

Sensei Featherstone said: “I’m so impressed with the guys. They have looked good in training, but looking good in training and translating it in competition is no easy task, The experience gained here is invaluable and inspirational for the other club members going forward in 2012.”

Other results from the city club’s members include: Thomas Zygo gained 2nd with Brad Petherbridge 3rd in the boys under 4ft 8in section.

Megan Thurkettle was 3rd in the girls under 5ft section, while Sofia Seminerio finished 2nd in the girls over 5ft 4in section.

Ryan Smith was 3rd in the boys under 5ft section, Jordan Hurd was 2nd and Thomas McGinn 3rd in the boys under 5ft 4in section.

Jasmine Trapnell gained 2nd in the forms section, while Debbie Smith came 2nd in the women’s over 58kg section. Matt Tinsley finished 3rd in the men’s over 80kg category, and Nathan Still gained 2nd in the men’s under 75kg section – after a 12-year break from training.

If you are interested in training the successful club, visit or call 01908 614078.