Medal for Bolton Man in English Championships
Ponds Forge, Sheffield 12-13th March 2005
Martyn Skipper, of Blacksnape, near Edgworth was Runner-up in the “Masters” (over 35 years) category at the English Karate Championships in Sheffield at the weekend. He was narrowly beaten in the final three points to two by Tony Gray of Essex. This improves upon his quarter final place at the British Championships in 2003. Said Skipper, a 3rd “Dan” black belt, and 29-year veteran of karate; “I appear to be a late bloomer. I have taken medals in minor championships in the past, but these last few years it’s really started to happen for me. I now feel that I have a National title in me”. He went on; “This medal is particularly gratifying, as the ‘Masters’ is an open-weight event, and as a lightweight, I have to fight much bigger opposition.” In reaching the final of the championships Skipper had to overcome Colin Simmonds of Birmingham in the semi-final, who earlier that day had won the Senior Men’s title at under 60kg. Skipper, 41 is a member of Tower Shukokai Karate Club which meets in Bolton and Darwen, and is coached by Andy Allwood of Bromley Cross. Both men, and other senior and junior members of the Tower Club, will be competing in the North West Open Championships in Darwen on April 10th.
The English Karate Championships are a two day event held each year at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre. Karate is an exciting, fast-moving light-contact sport which can be practised by all ages. In addition to the sporting side of the system, Tower Shukokai teaches the traditional aspects of the martial art, brought to Japan from Okinawa in the 1920’s and now amongst the most popular participant sports in the world. Karate is on the shortlist of five sports for potential inclusion in the Olympic Programme. The IOC makes its decision in July this year.
Pictured L-R: Skipper, Gray, Jaga Singh, Colin Simmons