On Thursady the 27th September 20 countries and 540 entries assembled in Chalkida on Evia island near Athens, Greece for the 2012 European Wado Kokusai championships. It was the largest European Wado Tournament for many years and it was pleasing to see so many attending in the light of the poor global economic climate. The participating countries were as follows: Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Netherlands, Belgium, England, N. Ireland, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Albania, Romania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan . A number of special guests were in attendance, amongst them was Wado Kokusai World Chairman and WKF 1st Vice President Sir William Millerson.
Although 27th September marked the official beginning of activities associated with the event, i.e. the AGM of the European Wado Kokusai Congress meeting, Judges/Referees/Coaches seminars (ensuring a consistent approach & uniformity of standards), additionally, there were a number of technical training courses held in the days proceeding the tournament proper, by World Chief Instructor Sensei Jon Wicks 8th Dan. Again, this approach was designed to ensure that all country's instructors are training in the correct Wado Kokusai techniques.
Friday the 28th September dawned bright and early with the competition getting under way with the Kata & the Tanto Dori eliminations. A compulsory kata was performed in the first round and the highest scorers went through to perform a voluntary kata in the second round. 1st and 2nd round scores were added and the Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners were announced. Following both the Tanto Dori & Kata finals in the afternoon, the long day concluded with the medal presentations for these categories.
A list of the kata categories follows. As you will note there were quite a number of categories. On the second day (Saturday 29th) the individual kumite events were hotly contested, with the opening ceremony taking place with all nations late in the afternoon, followed by a demonstration by Stelios Skarogiannis featuring attacks by three and four people on him. This demo included lots of high kicks, sweeps and throws.
Next came a number of presentations from Sensei Wicks, the first one was several floral gifts to Mr Christos Bouloubasis, his wife Aphrodite and daughter Vivianna for all the hard work they had put into organising the event. The second presentation was the award of a special gold medal to Mr Bobby Hamilton (Northern Ireland) the European Wado Kokusai General Secretary in recognition of the support & development work he has contributed to the Federation and Sensei over the past 22 years. This was followed by a wonderful display of traditional Greek dancing performed by a local dance group.
Sensei Jon Wicks then gave fantastic demonstrations of Tanto Dori and Tachi Dori assisted by Angelos Gorgas and Panagiotis Kousounadis of Greece. This was given the rapturous applause that it so rightly deserved.
The 3rd and final day (Sunday) began with the open category kumite events for both men and women and was followed by the prestigious team events and finals.
The final medal presentation then took place and everyone departed to prepare for the Sayonara party and some needed relaxation.
A country list of results can be found at the end of this report, but each and every competitor and country should be proud of their performances. A big thank you is due once again to Mr Christos Bouloubasis and the Greek organising committee as well as the hard working officials such as Mr Kjell Jacobsen, John Kanellis and the other judges and referees both, Wado Kokusai and WKF.
Please see http://www.facebook.com/fab2photography for more photographs of this event.