To mark their return to competition, the Shorinji Kempo Monaco club did not take any half measures on Saturday 1 April in Paris, Porte de Versailles.
Absent from the tatami mats since 2015, Monegasque practitioners of the martial art of self-defense, the most prized martial art in Japan, climbed directly to the second step of the podium at the French championships, keeping the position they acquired in 2013. A superb entry for Stéphane Gastaldy and Junichi Muraki who were participating in their first competition.
A good omen before San Francisco
In this discipline where hits count as much as submissions and where style has the same importance as swings, the competitors are measured in real and controlled battles. In points, three teams were tied for second place. It was the technical accuracy and precision of the Monegasques that made the difference and convinced the five judges to award them second place. One small point behind first place.
This victory is a good sign for the next Shorinji Kempo world championships, which will take place on 29 and 30 July in San Francisco. By then, the Monegasque pair will have passed an additional rank, joining the Giusti-Patucca tandem in the category 1st Dan.
Meanwhile, training has already resumed for the four from Monaco who will have to pull their weight in California. They will be able to count on the teachings from their professor Anthony Pont, a fighter, and the experience of technical director Frank Baldet, 6th Dan and one of the highest ranking practitioners in Europe.