Now that the pandemic is largely behind us, I’m pleased to report that national and international karate competitions are returning. My 1st competition of the year was at April’s British Four Nations Championships in Leicester, where I picked up a silver in the over 18’s Para Kata category. This was a great event to build experience, confidence and ‘mat’ time as I work towards increasing my competing at national and international level for my club and hopefully England.
I continue to train hard with both my local club Abel Karate weekly and with the National Para Squad monthly in Walsall. I am so grateful to my amazing coaches Paul, Matt & Sam for all their input and belief in me. Para karate is really beginning to grow in the UK and it’s very exciting to be a part of it from the beginning. In fact there will be a Para category at the 10th Commonwealth Karate Championships in Birmingham this September, and it is hoped that I will qualify to represent England! This is linked to the Commonwealth Games, so would be a huge honour.
In the meantime I am focusing in training on perfecting my kata routines in readiness for competing. There’s another big competition at the beginning of July, the English Karate Federation National Championships, that I hope to compete in. I am so incredibly grateful to the Dylan Howells Foundation for their amazing support and sponsorship. It’s really helping me to meet all the demands involved in my development as a national para athlete’.
– Joseph Clifton