Ireland Wadokai logo

A great big thank you!

In 2014 Ireland Wadokai Karate-Do Renmei celebrated its 25th year of training children, teens and adults. In 2015 IWKR entered its 2nd decade of bringing the Irish International karate championship to the town of Ardee. This year the championship was bigger than ever with teams arriving from Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Holland and across Ireland. Over 300 competitors accompanied by coaches, friends and family members, attended the Ardee Parish hall and competed in 50 events for the brand new 2015 medals and trophies.

Not only was the competition yet again another great success for IWKR, both as an event and for the club members, many of whom received medals in more than one category. We also wish to thank all who helped us to once again set up this highly regarded event. We thank the parents, friends and family who tirelessly worked in setting up, dealing with administration, cooking, baking and fundraising in the run up to the event; manning doors, gates, and serving in the kitchen and on the judging tables.

Logos of businesses that sponsored the Irish International Karate Championships in Ardee in 2015.

We want to thank all the judges and referees, for ensuring that the competition ran smoothly and efficiently and that the scores were recorded and injuries avoided. As anyone organising an event of this size will understand it finally comes down too cost, and this year we wish to extend a special thank you to all the local businesses that provided financial support to the Championship, in addition we would like to thank Tesco for sponsoring our kitchen with delicious bacon and sausages and Lidl for providing us with a great big pallet of water bottles, and 1stInrail for sponsoring our score boards.

We also want to give recognition to the Order of Malta who came in and done a tremendous job on their 70th anniversary. So we would like to congratulate them for supporting events in Ardee and further afield for the last 70 years.


Some of the IWKR Competitiors from the Irish International Karate Championships in 2015

IWKR club winners were:

Isobel McCabe – bronze under 8 girls kata
Grainne Begley – silver under 15 girls kata
Davin Harris – silver under 11 boys kata
Seannan Harris – silver under 15 boys kata
Niamh Maye – gold under 15 girls kumite

Tiernan McCabe – gold Cadet male kata
Connor Begley – silver Cadet male Black belt kata
Connor Begley – silver Cadet male Black belt kumite

Rory Keelan – gold male senior colour belt kata
Fergus Butler – silver male senior colour belt kata
Niabh Kirk – gold women’s senior  kata
Maša Maye – silver womens senior kata
Maša Maye – silver masters kata
Jason Harris – gold mens senior kata
Jason Harris – gold masters kata
Jason Harris – gold senior colour belt kata
David O’Donnell – bronze men’s Black belt senior  kumite

IWKR International kumite team gold.





Opening Ceremony at the Wado European Championships 2014

Opening Ceremony at the Wado European Championships 2014

Senior competitor David O’Donnell who trains in Blackrock and Niamh Maye who trains in both Blackrock and Tallanstown both travelled to Varese in Italy as part of the Irish squad to compete at the Wado European Championships. Other competitors who made this elite select squad came from Kells Wadokai and Derry Wadokai.

Shortly before setting off for Luxembourg Niamh Maye had become national kata champion after winning her section in the girls 13 and under event in Ballinasloe and her brother became national kata champion after winning his section in the boys 10 and under event. Niamh has now been invited to train on the national squad to compete for a place on the national squads to compete at the major WKF championships.

The competition took place on the 1st Nov where the Irish athletes competed against some of the best karate students in Europe. Niamh Maye came 5th in kata and 4th in her kumite event to earn a 5th place European ranking in the female u14’s.

David failed to maintain his ranking after failing to reach this year’s quarter finals in the men’s seniors after some really tough fights. And Eamonn Yore, Aoife Kelly and Leona McFadden all failed to reach the medals after putting up some heroic performances.

Ireland Wadokai chief instructor Tommy Marrett said; “Now that we’re back from Italy we can start looking and preparing for next year’s Europeans. Some of our younger athletes will have reached the minimum age of 12 and will now be able to be considered for a place on the Irish team allowing that their technique and fitness level will be of a standard that they can compete at European level. Those that have already competed in Europe now know what to expect and will have to train harder this year if they want to be in the medals next year.”

The Ireland Wadokai clubs of Blackrock, Tallanstown, Dromintee and Dundalk Institite of Technology, teach traditional Wadokai Karate and are part of and recognised by the Federation of Wadokai Europe.

Success in Luxembourg for Blackrock Karate

John McGuinness wins Gold in Luxembourg

John McGuinness became the toast of Ireland winning Ireland’s first ever gold medal at the prestigious ‘Coupe Internationale de Kayle’ annual event in Luxembourg known as the ‘Kayle Cup’. This event hosted 830 competitiors over the 2 day event including the 15 strong Irish team, 9 whom were from the Blackrock (Dundalk) and Tallanstown (near Ardee) Ireland Wadokai Karate Clubs, 5 from Zanshin in Portarlington and 1 from Clondalkin.


Ireland Wadokai karate team at Dublin Airport

Ireland Wadokai at Dublin Airport

Ireland Wadokai President and team coach Tommy Marrett said “John McGuinness had tough fights from strong European competitors all the way to the final, but showed his skill and fighting spirit through every second of every fight, never giving up even after picking up injuries in some of the bouts. I could see the potential in John shortly after he started karate a couple of years ago and it wasn’t long before he proved me right!”

Ireland Wadokai Kumite Coach David O’Donnell who was in John’s corner for the fights said “This is John’s 3rd International this year, competing in the Ardee International in April, Birmingham International in May and Luxembourg in October winning gold in all 3 competitions in the boys u12 kumite (fighting). And that’s not including the local and national competitions where he also won gold, silver and bronze medals. He’s a pleasure to train, always giving 100% effort.”

Hard fought competition

The rest of the Irish competitors all fought and competed well getting through several rounds before been defeated. They all done themselves proud and Niamh Maye who was also selected for the Irish European squad to compete in Italy found this a good platform to prepare for the European championships. Quinlan Maye and Conor Rafferty both reached the quarter finals in their events with Conor Rafferty achieving a 5th place ranking in the final ‘Kayle Cup 2014’ ranking system.


John McGuinness with the gold medal he won in kumite in the Coupe Internationale de Kayl in Luxembourg.

Gold in Luxembourg

Brother and sister Gareth and Roisin Molloy from Blackrock and Amy Dennis from Dromiskin all performed well in their respective categories but failed to come away with any medals. Under the watchful eye of Coaches Paul Thackaberry and David O’Donnell other Irish competitors such as Rachael Slevin, Igor Ksiezuk, Kacper Askuntowicz, Karolina Askuntowicz and Orla Leniston put in super performances getting through several rounds before going out in a hard fought competition.

The under 14 competitiors all competed on the Saturday and the over 14, cadets and seniors competed on the Sunday including Dundalk man David O’Donnell, Masa Maye from Tallanstown and Shona Mulhern from Portarlington who won Irelands 2nd medal (Bronze) in the female under 16 kumite (fighting). After putting in a really good performance Masa Maye was beaten by a more experienced and senior competitor in the women’s seniors while David O’Donnell had to retire due to getting a broken nose in one of his bouts but found it good preparation for his European venture 2 weeks later. He was also heading to Italy as part of the Irish team to try and maintain his European ranking after reaching the quarter finals at last year’s European Championships in Hungary.




Gold for Blackrock and Tallanstown Ireland Wadokai

The Birmingham International karate competition was held in Cannock, Staffordshire and hosted by David Jillings and Phil Hale of Chase Wadokai.

“This is a well run friendly event, much loved by the English and Irish alike. Ireland Wadokai Karate-Do Renmei (IWKR) attend this event every year and once again it proved to be a great day for all who attended. This competition is the first event we put on our calender every year,” Tommy Marrett (president of Ireland Wadokai).

The tournament consisted of a number of categories in both kata (form) and kumite (fighting), This event was the biggest so far since the first one six years ago.

Individual Kata started first with john mc Guinness winning bronze in the (under 10 years division), Niamh Maye bronze (under 12 years), David O’Donnell bronze (men’s senior black belt). Masa Maye became Irelands first champion of the day taken gold in the (Woman’s senior kata) and gold in the (Master’s kata).

Next was pair and team event’s with Niamh and Quinlan Maye bringing home silver in (pair kata) and then Masa, Niamh and Quinlan Maye achieved a third title for the squad winning gold in the (team kata) section.

The second part of the day was the kumite and first stepping onto the mat was Conor Rafferty who fought very hard and won a well-deserved bronze medal in the boys (under 12 years), Niamh Maye showed superior fighting ability with hands and feet to take home Ireland’s fourth gold medal in girls (under 12 years) and John McGuinness also stepped into combat as last year’s fighting champ to see if he could successfully defend his title in a division where all would be looking to defeat him, but John rose to the Occasion bringing the Irish karate team a fifth first place winning gold in the boys (under 10 years) kumite and becoming Ireland’s first kumite competitor to win gold back to back two years in a row.

Tommy Marrett, head of Ireland Wadokai was one of the referees on the day and John McGuinness senior who was head coach on the day said; “I am very happy with all the performances and the results of all the members in the Squad. All their hard work and preparation has paid off.”

All the competitors who travelled to Birmingham to compete, train in Blackrock and Tallanstown IWKR clubs.

Ireland Wadokai Birmingham winners

Ireland Wadokai Birmingham winners