AMA National Karate Championships, Harvey Hadden Sports Centre, Nottingham 6th July 2003
Once again Harvey Hadden played host to the AMA National championships. Some exciting cadet / youth performances were balanced with a significant contribution from the mature end of the age range. It’s also interesting to see, unlike some federations’ closed championships, a wide range of clubs taking honours. This reflects the overall competitive standard in the AMA and can be seen, too in the regular squad training sessions across the country. This is something Pete Allen can be proud of.
In the showcase events, some predictably exciting bouts were on offer. The Male Senior team final saw Freestyle Combat pitted against Chestnut Shotokan. In both camps, veterans and youths stood side by side.  It was Herron Chisolm’s Chestnut that took the title. His young team look very promising for the future. Herron, now very much a fixture at AMA events also met Freestyle’s Danny Rudkin in the final of the Men’s’ U70kg individuals. In what was probably the bout of the tournament, experience prevailed over youth. This was Herron’s 10th successive AMA title and Herron was heard, singing, in the changing rooms afterwards; “This is the last time I’ll shower in here, this is the last time I’ll wear my gi here, this is the last time I’ll fight here”. Is this an echo of Sir Steve Redgrave’s famous “Shoot me” declaration, or is he really retiring? One of his teammates claimed he is getting faster with age. Who can deny it? See you next year Herron? We’ll see!
Alex Mason took the Male Senior Kata title, to go with his Gold at the recent Budo Nord World Cup in Sweden. In the Male U80kilos Adam Boulton met his old adversary Phil Moody, back from a recent illness, in the final. On this occasion, Adam took the title, but it’s good to see Phil back in action.
Steve Hunt again took the weapons kata title with his nunchaku/ bo/ diving splits bravura performance.
Young Nathan Clarke took three Golds: in the Youths Kata; the Male Youths Openweight; AND the senior Male U65kg (where he beat this reporter in the final). Emma Ferry took silver in the female U60kg kumite, Gold in the female openweight, Gold in the female youths kata and Bronze in the team kata.
The day was broken up by a display from the AMA/ USKA demonstration team who gave an entertaining performance of synchronised weapons kata, and some amusing musical fight choreography.
Probably my abiding memory this year was the final of the Cadet Boys’ U50kilos, where Ross Tyldesley, another World Cup Medallist, met Joe Shakh. With a height advantage of about a foot, Joe was weight-checked by the officials. He sneaked in under the 50kg mark and the bout was allowed to continue. With two jodan geris, and a couple of near misses, young Ross was apparently oblivious to the height and reach disadvantage and took the Gold.

Competition organiser was Peter Allen, Head referee was Brian Noble, and Official Photography by Ian of Escape Photography, and St John Ambulance were in attendance throughout the day.
Looking forward to next year.
AMA National Team Manager, Peter Allen 07939 289711; email
AMA Press Officer, Martyn Skipper 01254 701302; email