What does it take to make a successful team? (0 comments)

The England Ladies Karate team have figured on the World stage since 2007 consistently pushing the Japanese in Kumite as well as Kata. On the podium countless times, nationally, in the Europeans and at World Cups, it can certainly be said that the England Ladies Karate team are successful. At past World Cups they have achieved,

  • 2011 World Cup Silver in Team Kumite and World Cup Bronze in Team Kata
  • 2014 World Cup Silver in Team Kumite
  • 2017 World Cup Silver in Team Kumite and World Cup Bronze in Team Kata

We caught up with the girls who had time to chat about what made their team work. Jana Sersnova, Rachel O’Halloran  and Roisin Campbell are the front liners of the England Ladies Karate team. First put together by Sensei Ohta in 2007 to compete at the Euros, it was clear that there was potential when they took Gold in team Kumite. Rachel and Roisin were friends first with Jana joining the gang about 11 years ago.

“There’s only one way to succeed in anything, and that is to give it everything.”

Vince Lombardi, Legendary Coach of the NFL Green Bay Packers


Dedication, sacrifice, training and friendship are the main factors they credit with pushing their success and development. Their dedication means that they will sacrifice their social lives and holidays to train together both inside and outside of lessons and Squad sessions. Their friendship will push each other, ensuring they always give their best at competition and not wanting to let each other down. This is especially important when you are trying to pull a fight back in a Kumite match. Rachel says sometimes that she has days when she would rather not train however knowing that Jana and Roisin depend on her “pushes her in itself”.

People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”

Vince Lombardi

An old Sensei once said that to be a good Karate tournament team you had to live in each other’s pockets. Spend all your time together. This is exactly what the girls do and have always done. Although it is a bit difficult now considering Rosin is now resident in Tokyo. WhatsApp, Facebook messenger and FaceTime all work but when Roisin is back, the three are inseparable.

The missing ingredient so far is training. The three girls have all benefitted from the teaching of Sensei Ohta, one of the best instructors in the world and Chief Instructor of JKA England. If you judge by results you have no choice to agree with this statement. Remember the amount of Ladies team podium places at the past 3 World Cups? Training under his guidance 3-4 times a week, the Ladies have really delivered on their potential as a consistent World Class team.

England Ladies Karate team

So there you have it. It doesn’t matter what sport or activity you practise. If you wish to compete as a team at the highest level you must,

  • build a common purpose
  • dedicate your time to train
  • sacrifice your time to train
  • build friendships whilst you train
  • train!

Karate brings you a lot more than just techniques and kata. Focus, teamwork, perspective, resilience and mental toughness all come to the fore.

I think we can all agree that Jana, Rachel and Roisin have done JKA England proud in the last decade and have received no less than they have deserved!

JKA England Ladies Karate team as Squad winners







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