(The Ulster Karate Federation wish to publish the following)

The Ulster Karate Federation celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2013 with a stylish triple Golden win for their senior Kata Team. It was a dream come true for an independent karate organisation achieving National, European and World Gold in senior team kata. While all the members of the Ulster karate federation have achieved much success in 2013, for the kata team consisting of Paul Taylor, Shawn Barron and Martin Mc Cole this was an outstanding year. The three senior karate instructors have been a kata team for four years and have worked tirelessly on their routines, always looking for improvement. Kata is one of the most important aspects of karate, a sequence of specific movements of martial art . It is designed to show skill in techniques organised into a pre arranged fight against imaginary opponents. The kata consists of kicks, punches, sweeps,strikes, blocks and throws. In team kata each member must perform movement in same sequence as each other. Improper form from any team members will lose points or in some cases disqualification. Although they are a team, as individuals each member have their own success in achievements over the years. Paul Taylor who is Kata Coach with the organisation and instructor with Quigley’s Point Karate Club has competed at National ,European and World level in senior individual kata events. His individual achievements over the last couple of years are 2 x gold, 6 x silver and 9 x bronze. Shawn Barron is the second member of the kata team. Shawn is head kumite coach with the organisation and Instructor of Culmore Karate Club. He has also been very successful with his individual kata and kumite achievements in national, European and world level. In the last couple of years Shawn has achieved, 6 x gold, 11 x silver and 13 bronze. Included in this time because of his achievements Shawn was also awarded Derry District Sports council services to sport and sports coach award. Final member of team is Martin Mc Cole Instructor of Quigley’s Point Karate Club . Along with being awarded European referee status Martin achieved the following in his individual competition categories of kata and kumite. 3 x gold, 5 x silver and 4 x bronze.
Their individual success inspired the three to form the team and with sheer hard work, long hours and determination they achieved a world gold in Italy games 2011. This spurred them to set a goal for the next world event in Bucharest Romania 2013. Every spare minute they had was spent preparing both mentally and physically for this event. A very successful event for the team as they gained a well deserved world gold in senior open style team kata. It was fortunate for the team that the Europeans were being held in the same year as normally they are a year apart. In October the team travelled to Sheffield where the Europeans were being held in Olympic medallist Jessica Ennis home grounds training arena. They were up against some stiff competition as the English teams were the majority being on home turf. It was nail biting stuff for friends family and squad members as they watched their senior and well respected sensei s be put under pressure by a well established Romanian team. The roar of the Irish support when the score boards lit was enough to let the team aware of their success. Mixed emotions from all three could be witnessed as they stood on the podium to receive their second team gold of the year. To finish the year off in November they travelled to the Irish national championships in Dublin where they once again gained a well deserved gold for their performance. This topped off a phenomenal year for the Ulster Karate Federation senior kata team.
The team would like to say thanks to all members of UKF , wives, family and friends for their support. This is a really unique achievement and something they will always be proud of. It doesn’t stop there as training must continue for the senior team and all squad members in preparation for their calendar of events in 2014 which include world senior games in Verona Italy in June and worlds for children in Poland in October. Here’s wishing the squad every success for 2014.