MARTIAL ARTS: Sidney fighting to rule the world

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A CITY schoolgirl has been selected to represent Great Britain at karate in the World Congress Of Amateur Athletics (WCOAA) World Goodwill Games in Mexico next month.

A CITY schoolgirl has been selected to represent Great Britain at karate in the World Congress Of Amateur Athletics (WCOAA) World Goodwill Games in Mexico next month.Peterborough High School pupil Sidney Thomas earned selection for Team GBR after winning the British title earlier in the year.

And she became British champion in the girls Under 10 sparring division at her first attempt.

Sidney and her parents, Mark and Paula, will be flying out to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on January 5.

And they will watch her compete in four events in her age group – black belt sparring, traditional Japanese kata, traditional Japanese kata with weapons and Chanbara. Kata is a choreographed sequence of techniques used against imaginary opponents.

There are many purposes for kata, but most people find they assist in understanding the application of certain techniques in real-life situations.

Chanbara is a child-safe equivalent to Kendo (The Way of the Sword) and is based on the art of Japanese Samurai Swordsmanship.

Sidney currently attends between four and six martial arts lessons a week at the Nash Karate School. She was awarded her 1st Shodan Black Belt (1st Dan) last February.

Patricia Seabrook, head of junior school at Peterborough High, is sending the entire school's best wishes with Sidney.

She said: "We are all thrilled and delighted at Sidney's successes so far and we are sure she will be an excellent representative for her country and the team in Mexico.

''She has a wonderful personality and is clearly a dedicated young sportswoman with a great future.

''Her selection is a huge honour for both Sidney and Peterborough High School and we shall be closely following her progress at the Games.''

• PERKINS engineer Paul Henson powered his way to a couple of great performances in an international martial arts competition in Munich.

The 46 year-old from Orton Goldhay saw off competitors from Switzerland, Austria, Poland, the United States and the host country to win a silver medal in Tai Chi forms and a fourth place in Sanda, a particularly physical form of kick-boxing.

And Henson's achievement was even more impressive as he fought with a cracked rib suffered while practicing for the competition.

Master Henson runs the Peterborough Wutan Kung Fu Club at East Community Centre, Padholme Road on Mondays and Tuesdays (7.30-9.30pm).

THE Peterborough Kuk Sool Won club put the city on the martial arts map by taking third place in the recent European Championships.

Local students put up a strong performance competing in traditional forms, techniques and sparring in Birmingham up against rivals from more than 40 clubs.

High belt students were also able to contest the sword, staff, short stick and knife throwing categories.

Anyone interested in taking up Kuk Sool Won can contact Peterborough club organiser Stephen Ham on 07834 488365.

Classes for beginners will be open to new members from January.