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Success For Passage West Karate Club

Writes Joe Hunter

The Passage West Karate Club has enjoyed unprecedented success in recent years; at Provincial, National and International level. The club will participate at the All-Ireland Championships shortly, looking to retain the Jess Pablo perpetual shield for being the best club at the Championship for the fifth year in succession. 

While the club has its roots in traditional Shotokan karate, being affiliated to the International Japan Karate Association (IJKA) World organisation, it is also actively involved in the Cork Sports Karate Association; an initiative set up to bring both traditional and sports karate together for those sharing a common dream of competing in the Olympic Games. The Club’s instructors believe the talent is there and that there is no reason what its members can’t go on to one day represent Ireland at the Games.

The most noteworthy of the club’s wins include; the 60 medals it won at the 2013/2014 IJKA World Championships in Poland, the 51 medals won at the 2015/2016 IJKA World Championships in Turkey and the 93 World medals won at the 2017/2018 IJKA World Championships in Cork City. Its club members have also succeeded at the likes of the prestigious Shotokan Karate-Do of United Nations (SKDUN) World & European Championships and at the Legend Open Championships in the UK.

This success story has been duly recognised at the annual Cork Martial Arts Promotions (CMAP) Awards, an event which is widely referred to amongst the martial arts community as “The Oscars of the Martial Arts”, with Passage winning the best martial arts club award in 2017, having being shortlisted for the award in the previous year. Club member Sinead O’Flynnwon the best junior female award in 2018 following on from her double gold medal success at the SKDUN World Championships in 2018, an award which was previously won by her clubmates Tara Whytein 2016 and Aisling Corkery in 2015. 

The club recently held a tournament in memory of the late Michael O’Connell(RIP), former assistant instructor at Passage West Karate Club, which was very well supported by the wider karate community. Michael, who played a huge role in the club’s recent success, is very much missed by his clubmates and the perpetual Michael O’Connell Memorial Championship was a very emotional day for all involved. It was lovely to have Michael’s family present on the day, to present the Michael O’Connell Cups to the best junior and senior competitors of the championship. 

The club has been operating out of the CYMS Hall in Passage West for over 35 years. Its Instructors are Joe Hunter(5thDan), Aileen Hunter(3rdDan) and Michael Keohane(6thDan), who are immensely proud of the club’s achievements. They put the club’s success story down to a community effort; involving the commitment of so many talented local athletes and the ongoing support of their dedicated and hardworking parents. 

The club trains on Mondays & Wednesdays 6:30-7:30 (colour belts) and 7:30-8:30 (Brown & Black belts). New members are always welcome. Enquiries to (087) 0683283.

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