July 25, 2019 marked the beginning of the IWKA World Isshinryu Championships held in London, England; an event designed to bring together Isshinryu athletes from around the world to unite in fellowship, and competition.
Ingram's Karate was in attendance, along with participants from many countries gathered together under one roof in Europe thanks to the organization and orchestration of Muthusamy Ramathas Sensei along with Michael Calandra Sensei.
The event marked a milestone for the World United Isshinryu Karate Association, in which Isshinryu practitioners from four countries came together as one under the WUIKA banner to compete in Kata (forms), Kobudo (weapons), and Kumite (sparring); all under the close watch of Master Kichiro Shimabuku.
Athletes from Ingram's Karate Center along with Ingram's Okinawan Karate Center traveled as a team of 19 competitors to the WUKF competition. Sensei Sheri Angwin (who orchestrated our team travel arrangements, which was no small task) attended the event as a Referee , and Sensei John Ingram (WUIKA Director) and Sensei Cindy Ingram (WUIKA Secretary) were in attendance as coaches to the competitive team as well as WUIKA representatives.
Amongst the 19 athletes from Ingram's Karate Center (Carrollwood and New Port Richey) as well as Ingram's Okinawan Karate Center (Hudson) there were some exciting moments that hilighted the strength and determination of the WUIKA as a whole. Upon returning from the event, Ingram's athletes boasted 26 Gold Medals (World Championship wins), 12 Silver Medals, 9 Bronze medals, as well as 4 Grand Championship trophies.
Perhaps equally as exciting as the wins was the ability to reunite with friends from Isshinryu dojos around the world as well as meet and create friendships with new WUIKA members. It's always wonderful to spend time with our WUIKA family.
Strength of technique and the spirit of competition rang true and could be seen in the sound performance of WUIKA competitors as evidenced by the 101 combined medals won under the group's banner, as well as 5 Grand Championship wins.
What an honor it was to see all of the WUIKA flags come together. This was truly an historic event for the World United Isshinryu Karate Association as well as all of us here at Ingram's Karate Center.
Now we look forward, toward October and the WUIKA Gasshuku and Shiai to be held in Florida.