Friday 23rd April 2021

Karate Competition Kicks in the Right Direction

Technology and innovation at its finest! Read how the SSS Karate Community created a brand new video competition to keep their students active and engaged during lockdown.

In a brilliant example of student-led consultation, which identified that the Scottish Student Karate community wanted a competitive outlet this year, the concept of the Online Kata Competition was born.

As a primarily indoor-based sport, karate has been heavily impacted by the recent pandemic: access to facilities has been infrequent and contact has not been allowed due to social distancing measures. However, due to the innovation of the passionate students leading their clubs through unprecedented difficulties, the community came together and found an outlet for their sport – a video competition!

The competition in March 2021 was simple: each student submitted a video of themselves completing a kata to YouTube to be peer-reviewed by students from other clubs. Students were offered the opportunity to submit more than one video per experience category, across more than one round, with novices even offered the chance to compete in the senior category too. All scores were averaged to provide the overall winner, and feedback was provided to aid learning.

Overall 16 students entered the competition, spanning five institutions. SSS were delighted to see equal representation across the male and female genders too! The standard was very high and in many cases resulted in many joint-finishing positions. Full results can be found HERE.

To celebrate, a SS Karate Social was held over Zoom giving the opportunity to catch up with the rest of the competitors as well as watch back one another’s video submissions. Overall, the innovative event received glowing praise. University of Glasgow student, Sophie Fischer, (pictured right) said:

“I really liked seeing all the different student clubs working together to improve their Karate. Seeing all the different Katas being practiced everywhere in Scotland made me really happy to be part of the event!” 

Andrew Davidson (University of Aberdeen) added:

“The online kata competition was a fantastic idea which was well executed and served as a welcome highlight to what has otherwise been a dour year for karate. The friendly spirit which it was carried out under also made it really enjoyable, with a variety of kata being showcased by students of different grades that wouldn’t necessarily show up at a more conventional competition.”

As ever, an event like this cannot take place without support. Speaking to Scottish Student Sport our SS Karate Chair, Liz Rogers, was keen to pass on her thanks to all involved:

“It was great to see clubs supporting the organisation of this event and we are very grateful to the judges from each club who gave up their time to provide constructive and helpful feedback to the entrants. Congratulations to everyone who entered the competition – we really enjoyed watching your kata!”

We are all hoping that next year the SS Karate clubs will be able to see each other in person and get back to both kumite and kata. Until then, it is great to see the community spirit thriving despite the challenges thrown at them, and we are sure this resilience will see the sport go from strength to strength in years to come.