NIKW Youth Squad show success in Manchester

The Brunton Schools of Karate enjoyed success at the Manchester Youth Karate Championships where the team won four medals.

Championship titles went to Katelynn McCracken and Ross Dougan in the free fighting events in their age groups, while Ross won a bronze and Thomas Bell a silver medal in their respective technical categories.

Katelynn and Ross, both 13, have been training hard for several years with Irish karate ace Oliver Brunton and his son James who has made his name on the international karate circuit. The two teenagers each won a gold medal in the Northern Ireland championships which were held in Banbridge last month, and they were both eager to test out their skills further with youngsters from across the British Isles.

The techniques and tactics they have learned to employ coupled with the fighting spirit synonymous with the Brunton schools of karate, put the two youngsters in a position to dominate the preliminary rounds. They each stepped up a notch in the finals to secure two championship titles.

Ross went on to take a bronze medal in the boys 12 to 13 technical section, while in the 14 to 15 years old male technical event his teammate Thomas Bell took a silver medal.

Making his first outing to a competition outside Ireland was 10-year-old Olaf Liwerska. Undaunted Olaf put up a great effort winning his first fight but unfortunately lost out in the second round.

James Brunton (Coach), Olaf Liwerski, Thomas Bell, Ross Dougan, Katelynn McCracken

Founder of the Brunton Schools of Karate, Oliver Brunton is pleased with the children’s performance. He has drawn on almost 60 years of teaching experience to prepare the youngster’s for competition. “We have put in a lot of effort together and I am glad they have demonstrated their aptitude in the competition arena,” he said. “Competitions such as these give the children so much confidence in themselves.

“I teach the children both free fighting and technical skills to improve their overall karate development,” Oliver continued. “I am delighted the team proved themselves in both disciplines at these championships.”

Karate youngsters from across the British Isles will come together in Belfast for the 29th North v South karate open which will take place at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution on Saturday, 1st February 2020. For information on this event or to join one of the Brunton Schools of Karate many classes, visit or call 028 90 616453.