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Karate-Ka from North & South of the border came together to get high class tuition from Sensei Brunton 7th Dan JKF. The NIKW hosted the course, aimed at studying the 5 Pinan Kata of Wado-Kai. Students started off naturally warming up with some basic kicks & punches. After, Sensei Brunton moved quickly on to the first Kata Pinan Nidan, taking an in-depth look at the movements and how the technique should be applied so that they are effective against opponents.
Student's experienced that Kata, although must be performed in a strict way, many of the moves can be adapted to suit many different scenario's. One student commented; "I enjoyed today, I was able to see that learning Kata is also learning practical self defense. Sensei Brunton was able to demonstrate how the moves in a Kata, can be changed and adapted to suit real life attack situations". G Reynolds (NIKW Central Dojo)
Lisburn schoolboy, Craig Ryan, returned from the Scottish Open Karate International with medals in both the cadets open weight and team events. The 15 year old travelled to Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh for the tournament which attracted some of Europe's top karate athletes. And the Northern Ireland squad took an impressive seven individual and three team rankings. In the girls cadets events, Victoria Bushby took silver and Lucy McAvoy, bronze in their respective weight categories. The two girls then joined with their Banbridge club team mate, Courtney Morris, to take a bronze team medal.
Meanwhile, Ryan and Rory O'Boyle won a silver team medal in the boys cadet event. Moving up to the Junior section, Banbridge young men, Kyle Morris and T J Morris lifted bronze medals in their respective weight categories; and Newcastle's Ciaran Cleland and Conor O'Boyle won silver and bronze medals. Cleland, O'Boyle and Tiernan Moore formed the junior male team who won bronze.
President of Karate in Northern Ireland, Oliver Brunton, is delighted that Northern Ireland featured so strongly in the medals positioning. "It wasn't so long ago that we were lucky to come home from these international tournaments with one or two medals, now our young athletes are lifting several handfuls of medals," he said. "This is a tribute to the coaches from the governing body, the Northern Ireland Karate Board, who have worked tirelessly to bring these youngsters on, with little outside support."

Top Belfast karate international, James Brunton was on dynamic form at the Scottish International karate open where he displayed one of the greatest performances of his career. Spectators at the Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh watched while Brunton exploded through the heats in his weight category of the senior men's event, easily taking a championship title. One goal has still eluded the Belfast athlete, that of top British men's open weight fighter, the crown which rests on the head of Scottish man, Calum Robb. While the two men have met on several occasions, Brunton has yet failed to wrestle the title from the other side of the Irish Sea. However, it looked as if this could be Brunton's moment as the two adversaries met in the men's open weight final. Brunton gained the lead by taking the first score, but Robb immediately took it back to even the match.
The air was electric as karate fans watched Britain's two top fighters battle it out in a nail biting clash, with both men producing their best performances. Moments later, Brunton again clinched the lead, only to see it slip away as Robb evened it out two all. The rest of the match went the way of the home fighter, but it has given the pundits something to talk about in the run-up to their next meet. In the cadet section, Lisburn school boy, Craig Ryan lived up to his reputation, earning a place in the final, where he came up against TJ Morris of Banbridge. The last time the two boys met was at the Northern Ireland championships, where Ryan took the title, However this time, he had to concede defeat to Morris who took the Scottish championship title, with Ryan settling for runner-up.
The two boys joined with Newcastle's Rory O'Boyle, who took a bronze in his individual category, & a bronze medal in the cadet team event for Northern Ireland. Elsewhere in the tournament, Northern Ireland's athletes enjoyed tremendous success with Newcastle's Ciaran Cleland taking a championship title in the male juniors plus 76kg, with Ryan Cairns, also Newcastle, taking a bronze in the same section. Meanwhile Conor O'Boyle, Newcastle took bronze in the minus 68kg event. Newcastle junior boys formed the team to take a bronze medal in the team event. Northern Ireland Karate President, Oliver Brunton was ecstatic at the delegation's performance. "The standard at the competition was high, with athletes from across Europe, along with the added feature of a Canadian team travelling from the other side of the Atlantic to the event," he remarked. "For a country as small as Northern Ireland to feature so highly in the medals ranking is a tremendous achievement" for the karate board.

Extract from Belfast Telegraph 14th March, 2012
By Chris Holt

Ryan's aiming high
Karate kid, Craig Ryan, is the latest winner in the Belfast Telegraph's Emo Sports Awards, sponsored by the oil company in partnership with the Mary Peters Trust. The Lisburn boy is only 14 but is already a seasoned campaigner in fighting on the mat. His winning ways through the age groups began when he was just six and triumphed in the Hungarian Open. And a host of other successes have followed.

In 2008 the Lisburn club member won a gold medal at the World Championship in Vancouver. Edinburgh was his place to celebrate in 2009 when he became Commonwealth under-12 champion. Then last year he won a bronze medal at the European championships in Lisbon. Craig, a student at Laurelhill Community College in Lisburn is also British under 14 champion. He said: "Karate is a very competitive sport, but while I'm always trying to win titles, I know that camaraderie and sportsmanship are also very important." Violet Brown, Lisburn club secretary and treasurer of the Northern Ireland Karate Board, said:"Karate is a minority interest here, so we're grateful to Craig for helping draw other youngsters into the sport. He has achieved a lot and will achieve a lot more.
He is dedicated to training and is always prepared to listen and learn from others." During the learning process, Craig gets tips from the top in the form of father and son team, Oliver and James Brunton. Dad Oliver, president of the Northern Ireland Karate Board, is a seventh dan with the Japanese Karate Federation and is one of the top instructors in Europe, while James is the province's leading exponent in the sport and has won many international titles. The Belfast Telegraph's Emo Sports Awards in partnership with the Mary Peters Trust are open to young sportsmen and women from the age of 12. Full details are available from governing bodies or on the trust website:

The fertile low-lying farmland of the Ards Peninsula was the setting of the Northern Ireland Karate-Do Wado-Kai's (NIKW) annual spring camp, as the coastal site of Ganaway Activity Centre welcomed Ireland's top karate exponent to conduct the intensive training course. Oliver Brunton, a 7th Dan with the Japanese Karate Federation was the course tutor for what turned out to be the NIKW's most successful training camp ever. During the weekend, Oliver demonstrated and explained the refined movemens which he has honed over the decades to produce dynamic karate which he can apply with devastating effect. Over the past 50 some years, Oliver has trained at karate daily, and travelled frequently to Japan to learn more about the art to which he has dedicated his entire adult life. Oliver's proficiency at pure wado karate has been recognised on many occasions by the Japanese Karate Federation (JKF) He became the first European to become a Technical Examiner with JKF, and was honoured with the title of Kyoshi or Doctor by the Japanese Federation.

Four years ago Oliver obtained another first when he travelled to Japan to do a rigorous grading examination in front of a board of Japanese masters, resulting in him being unanimously passed to the grade of 7th Dan with the JKF, the first non-Japanese national to be awarded this grade. The Irish man's pioneering instinct began as a young man when he took responsibility for introducing karate to Northern Ireland. He was the first man from the country to qualify as a European Karate Federation (EKF) official and also the only one to ever hold the rank of Referee and Technical Judge with the World Karate Federation (WKF). For 13 years he served as Secretary of the Referee Commission of both these international bodies. Oliver has used his knowledge in the competition arena to bring on many young competitors' here. Most note worthy is his son James who has won many international championships and holds British and American Open titles. Karate practitioners from all over Ireland travelled to Ganaway outside Millisle to learn from this great Irish martial art legend.
The seminar covered all aspects of karate from basics to more advanced techniques. Oliver showed the students the importance of applying the proper technical criteria to make their karate work. "Many years of intensive study has shown me that teaching the movements is only the beginning of a person's journey to learn karate technique," he said. "They need to apply the proper skills to make these movements come to life." A special feature of the weekend's training was a session with James Brunton who showed the fighting skills required to be successful in the competition arena. Anyone who wants to train with Oliver or James should visit or call 90616453

Young Craig Ryan excelled in the 21st North V South Open Karate Championships held in INST on Saturday 4th Feb 2012. Craig pushed James Brunton off the top position by taking 2 Gold medals in the Boys 14 to 16 years and again in the 16 to 18 years Kumite and again 1 Silver in the 14 to 16 years Kata, While James Brunton took 2 Gold, One in the Mens Kumite and one in the Kata.

Craig beat T.J. Morris in both Kumite categories while having to settle for the Silver in the Kata category against Eoghan Chelmiah from Dublin INWKF Craig and T.J. have become two of Northern Irelands top Kumite boys fighters and are the future Karate-ka for the province. For the first time the mens final in both Kata and Kumite was between the two Brunton brothers, James and older brother Oliver.
Both gave their all as James took the Kumite gold and a slight loss of balance in the Kata Chinto meant Oliver having to settle for the silver. As usual the Championship has become N. Ireland's premier Karate event. Thanks to all those who came to watch and those who helped make it such a success.

Hot of the plane from Tokyo, where Belfast international, James Brunton won a bronze in the Japanese National Championships, Northern Ireland had it's strongest team ever at Edinburgh's Meadowbank stadium. The first two medal's of the tournament went to Sophie Rogers of South Belfast, and Martina Gilmore from Cookstown, who each took a bronze medal in the girl's kumite events in the respective weight categories. On Saturday evening, team coach, James Brunton, was on the fighting mats. He fought his way through the preliminary rounds to win a place in the finals of his individual event, where he narrowly missed out on gold. Next up was the senior mens open fight off, where Brunton hoped to emulate his success in the British International Open,

where he took the championship title in the Senior Men's Open section. Winging his way through the initial bouts, Brunton faced Scottish champion, Calum Robb. Respecting each others fighting abilities, the two men fought a defensive bout, with Robb taking a score off Brunton towards the end of the fight. The Belfast man had to settle for his second runners up medal. The under 14's had a chance to shine on the Sunday, and spurred on by the previous days success, pint sized Thomas Allen of Antrim took a silver medal in the boys under 10 years category. Newcastle's Rory O'Boyle won a bronze medal in the boys under 14 heavy weight event. The showcase event on Sunday was the boy's under 14 team event, and the Northern Ireland team was made up of Craig Ryan, Lisburn; Connor Gilmore, Cookstown and TJ Morris from Banbridge.
With some 16 teams in the event, the boys had their work cut out for them. However, they did not disappoint their fans, and their fighting skills shone through, with a nail biting semi final, were they won a place in the finals by two fights to one. Northern Ireland, unfortunately missed out on a championship title again, but came home with a well earned silver team medal. "I am delighted with the team's success," their ecstatic president, Oliver Brunton commented. "Northern Ireland does not have the numerical strength of the other three home nations, and for them to make such a mark at the British championships speaks volumes for the talent and dedication to the sport we have here.

Belfast bomber, karate international James Brunton, took on the Japanese at their own game and won, when he won a bronze medal at the Japanese national karate championships. James was part of the Northern Ireland karate team who took part in the ten day Japan 2010 tour taking part in events in the Japanese cities of Nagoya and Tokyo. Over 50 countries travelled to the Far Eastern archipelago to meet in the world cup event taking place in the shadows of Nagoya castle. Brunton powered through the preliminary rounds making it through to the final eight competitors, before coming up against current World Karate Federation champion Satoshi Ibuchi. Although he put up a good fight, securing several scores, Brunton had to concede defeat to the Japanese fighting legend.

The following weekend, the Northern Ireland team took part in the Japanese national championships. Brunton was in a pool of over 150of Japan's top senior athletes. After an electrifying day of karate on the first day of the competition,. Brunton had whittled down the opposition, ending up in the top 16. The elite athletes met at the world famous Nippon Budokan on the Sunday. Brunton was again on winning form, ending up in the semi-finals, but didn't make it to the final, and had to settle for bronze. 15 year old Sophie Rogers also made it into the second day of competition demonstrating strong character against tough competition.
The Northern Ireland delegation was led by James's father, Oliver, President of Karate here, who has already achieved fame in Japan with his technical ability and has reached the level of shu-ha-ri with the Japanese Karate Federation commented "I am very pleased with the team's performance, "Considering the high level of karate in Japan, for James to take a bronze medal, and for Sophie to make it into the top 16 is a great achievement for Northern Ireland. To be competing and winning at this level demonstrates how high the standard of karate has risen here."

Over 800 competitors converged on the Medowbank Stadium in Edinburgh to watch karate at international level 16 countries participated in the annual event and the audience was given a fantastic display of karate competition N. Ireland being so small came away with their heads held high by taking 2 Gold and 1 Silver and 1 Bronze medal. International fighter James Brunton fought his way to the finial in great form beating arch rival Glen Mundell in the semi finals by a clear 4 points It seemed like payback time as Glen had put James out on a split decision in Tokyo at the WKF world championships in November last. This placed him in the final against Colin Robb who is current World-Wado champion,

James showed great fighting ability and healed the 6ft 5'' 180kg fighter to a 1 point decision leaving James with the silver position. N. Irelands other young competitors performed well with Young Craig Ryan taking the Gold position having fought his way through 38 competitors from the 16 countries, and team mate Daniel Parke from Antrim also taking the gold in the boys 12 to 13 years category Also on the medal rostrum was Connor O Boyle from KUNI Newcastle having taken his first international medal in the boys 14 to 15years which was also a very demanding category. All in all N. Ireland is moving from strength to strength in the karate world which the president attributes to the great harmony and technical excellence which exists within the NIKB Northern Ireland Karate President,
Oliver Brunton's vision to see the national team as a force to be reckoned with within Britain became a reality last weekend, when the local team returned from the British championships in Edinburgh with an astounding six individual medals, and a runner up team title. When he took up the position of President, Oliver's long term plan was to promote Northern Ireland karate within these isles and beyond, with an objective of this aim to win medals at the four nations championship.

James has just become the first competitor from Northern Ireland to be selected on the British Karate Squad. James along with others from England and Scotland and Wales was picked to compete in an International competition in Montenegro at the weekend.

James had 3 fights on the team against Montenegro, Italy, and Serbia and wan all three fights securing a place in the future James father commented '' I am very proud to have trained the first karate fighter to have been selected onto the British Squad ''
This is an indication of the hard work and dedication that James has shown in his training over the years and it will be a great boost for Northern Ireland Karate. James this weekend heads off to the Dutch open for more competition.

James Brunton has set another record for Karate in N. Ireland Top karate international, James Brunton, added another championship title to his repertoire when he took a gold medal at the Scottish Open at the Meadowbank Stadium, Edinburgh at the weekend. Despite the British Isles being closed off to air travel, elite fighters from Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland descended on the Scottish capital, with a Dutch team travelling by land and sea to make it to the event. Hot on the heels of his success in Montenegro fighting for the British team, Brunton displayed many of the winning techniques which have earned him a strong fan base from within these islands. Making his way through the preliminary rounds, he came up against top Irish competitor, Sean O'Hara in the final. Drawing on his armoury of moves, Brunton clinched the championship title, underlining his reputation as Ireland's top fighter.

In the underage events, British and Commonwealth champion, Lisburn's 13 year old Craig Ryan, took a silver medal in his weight category, and a bronze in the open weight event. Also making a name for himself in the British arena, is 14 year old Ross Dinsmore who took bronze in the male cadet event, while Sophie Rodgers (15) from Holywood took bronze in the female cadet section. The fighters are all trained by Irish karate legend and World Karate Federation official, Oliver Brunton at the Karate Centre of Excellence in Belfast City Centre. With almost 50 years experience teaching karate, and numerous accolades to his name, Brunton senior has created an atmosphere of dedication and achievement amongst his students. "Success breeds success," he said. "James is accumulating a catalogue of titles around the world, from British to American Open champion.
He is a role model for our younger fighters, who want to emulate his successes. "By taking them outside Ireland, we can put their training to the test," Oliver continued. "Our team were able to hold their own, and beat some of the top athletes from across the British Isles. "Later on this summer, we are taking a team to the World Wado Cup in Nagoya, Japan," he said. "The event in Edinburgh was one of the preparatory competitions I have selected for this world event, and I am happy with the team's progress. They will have a further opportunity to test their mettle at the British Open competition in July." For further information on training with Oliver and James Brunton, visit or call 028 90 616453

The Northern Ireland karate team were in top form at the European Wado Cup last weekend, bringing home three gold and two bronze medals. The Dublin based championships attracted teams from ten countries including Russia, Macedonia, Italy and Spain. In the under-age events, 12 year old Craig Ryan, who holds Commonwealth and British titles, successfully secured a place in the finals of the boy's technical event, where he took his first gold medal of the tournament.

Craig then went on to fight his way through the heats of the free fighting boy's section, making his way to the finals, where he gained his second championship title. The highlight of the championships was when Belfast man, James Brunton, skillfully fought his way to the finals, staving off the top fighters from Romania and the Republic of Ireland in the quarters and semi's. Brunton, who holds USA Open and British titles among his repertoire, was on top form when he met
Italy's top athlete, and secured his fifth European-Wado championship title. The team train with Irish karate ace, Oliver Brunton, who is delighted with the way they performed. "James and Craig continue to go from strength to strength, while young Martina showed great promise in her first international tournament," he said.

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