ESKA Championships History

    The first ESKA championships were held in 1986 in Sunderland, England and have been held every year since.


    36th ESKA European Championships:

    A Triumph of Tradition and Excellence in San Fernando, Cadiz

    San Fernando is in the heart of the Bay of Cádiz, Spain. It is a city that has a rich historical background that spans centuries. It is here that we returned to the Sports Centre, Bahia Sur, for the 36th ESKA European Championships to celebrate Shotokan Karate's rich tradition and unwavering excellence.

    The competition, organised by the Asociación Shotokan Karate-do Tradicional España, has been fully supported by the San Fernando City Hall and its Sports Councillorship. At the opening ceremony we were delighted to have as our guests Patricia Cavada, Mayor of the City of San Fernando and Antonio Rojas, Sports Councillor.

    During Congress it was announced that Ted Hedlund, a founder member of ESKA since 1986, would be retiring. ESKA president Richard Poole expressed his gratitude on behalf of ESKA for Ted's technical contribution which has been a guiding force for our organisation since its establishment. In recognition of his invaluable service Congress has appointed Ted Hedlund as Honorary Vice President of ESKA.

    Tommaso Mini of Switzerland was unanimously elected as the new Technical Director. He brings with him over 50 years of experience of both Shobu Ippon Karate and was chair of the EKF referee commision. He has been in membership of ESKA since its' foundation in 1986 and has served as member of both the ESKA technical committee and referee commission for many years.

    After Congress, the three-day event began with the Cadet Categories (16-17 year olds) and the outstanding performances by our young Karateka set the tone for a fantastic weekend. Their determination and technical skill both in Kata and Shobu Ippon Kumite highlighted the bright future of Shotokan Karate within our organisation.

    On the Saturday it was then the turn of the Juniors (18-20 years) and Youths (aged 14-15 years) to compete and demonstrate both their passion and exceptional talents. These categories, alongside the Cadets, provided a glimpse into the depth of talent present within our ESKA family.

    The final day of the Competition is when our Senior competitors, aged 21+, step into the spotlight and is eagerly anticipated by all. It is great to see that many of our senior competitors have progressed over the years through every phase of the ESKA competition, starting from youth, advancing through cadet and junior stages, and finally reaching the senior level.

    The entire stadium, competitors and supporters alike, were on the edge of their seats watching the fiercely competed fights and outstanding kata performances. From the very first matches the level of performances were of the highest standard. Each and every match clearly demonstrated the passion and excellence required to win. Resulting in those individuals and teams eventually crowned European Champion were well deserving of the title.

    We are grateful to Javier Artero, president of Asociación Shotokan Karate-do Tradicional España and Chairman of the Organising Committee and his team for their hard work to ensure the Championships were a great success.

    The passion, skill and determination of the competitors of our ESKA family was truly remarkable. Each competitor, instructor, official and supporter contributed to a fantastic atmosphere. The values and traditions of Shotokan Karate-do made for a terrific competition that has bonded our nations together for over 37 years.

    As we reflect on the triumphs and camaraderie of the 37th ESKA European Championships, our focus shifts towards what lies ahead. We look forward with anticipation to our upcoming assembly in Portugal in November 2024, where members of the ESKA family will reconvene to commemorate tradition, acknowledge excellence, and further strengthen the ties within the ESKA family.

    Photos from the ESKA Championship 2023