Years of hard work pays off for champion Yo-Yo

Torbay Weekly

The brilliant Yosita O’Connor (Yo-Yo) from Brixham KUGB Shotokan Karate Club recently entered the Karate Union of Great Britain South west Championships, in the Child Girls Kumite (Fighting) and emerged as the winner.

Unfortunately, there was only one other person in that category, but that didn’t take anything away from the extremely challenging opponent that stood facing her.

Yo-Yo has been learning karate since the age of 7, learning all the skills necessary, to pass all of her gradings at a very high standard. She passed her 1st Dan Black belt grading in April 2018, making her one of the youngest Black belts in club history at the age of 10.

Every skill that had been learnt by Yo-Yo was put to the test in that one single match. After a difficult start, both young girls seem to put the nerves to one side and concentrate on the job at hand. By the end of the competition, Yo-Yo had scored more points than her opponent, making her the South-west Champion.

The excitement from Yo-Yo, her Dad James O’Connor and her instructor Sensei Dan Walpole was obvious the moment it was announced she had won. All those years of hard work and learning had paid off.

Shotokan is regarded as a dynamic martial art as it develops anaerobic, powerful techniques as well as developing speed. Initially strength and power are demonstrated instead of slower, more flowing motions.

Those who progress to brown and black belt level develop a much more fluid style that incorporates grappling, throwing and some standing joint locking techniques.

The basic colour grading for karate belts starts at white and then moves to orange, red, yellow, green, purple, purple with white stripe, brown, brown with one white stripe, brown with two white stripes and Sho Dan Black belt.

If you or anyone you know would like to give Karate a try and achieve what Yo-Yo has, then find us on Facebook: Brixham KUGB Shotokan Karate Club or Come to Brixham leisure centre on a Monday or a Thursday at 7pm – 8 pm.