Karate -- the British Karate team, who beat the Japanese at their own game in 1975, are gearing up for this year's championship -- and they hope to repeat their success.
SV Ferry boat passing ZOOM IN TO waterfront buildings, Liverpool, UK
MV Four members of British Karate team walking down street and into doorway, PAN UP TO sign "Liverpool Karate Club"
MV & CU Members of team exercising with high kicks - left to right - Bob Poynton, Terry O'Neil, Joe Farley, Billy Higgins, Bob Rhodes, Steve Cattle and Sanday Hopkins
MV O'Neil and Poynton training PAN TO Farley and Higgins training
SV Ground training
CU O'Neil and Poynton training under chief British "Shotokan" instructor Andy Sherry
CU Hopkins training
CU Sherry demonstrators with other members of team
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Karate -- the British Karate team, who beat the Japanese at their own game in 1975, are gearing up for this year's championship -- and they hope to repeat their success.
SYNOPSIS: At one time, the defeat of the Japanese in any of the Martial Arts would have been unthinkable. But in 1975, the British Karate team raised eyebrows in the sporting world by beating the japanese master of the art of Karate at their own game, in the United States.
Now, the British team are training hard for this year's World Karate Championships. This time, the contest is being held in Tokyo early in July, and the British think the Japanese will prove to be formidable opponents because they're competing on home ground.
Karate is very keenly followed in Liverpool, in England's North-West. In fact, eight members of the eleven-man international Karate team are from Liverpool.
There's an air of confidence in the British team -- there are several seasoned competitors in it. Some members competed in the world championships in Japan seven years ago.
Team members Terry O'Neil and Bob Poynton training under Chief British Shotokan instructor Andy Sherry. The Shotokan style of Karate puts great emphasis on technique. None of the blows are supposed to connect -- although they sometimes do. But the competitors restrain themselves, because a punch or kick -- if it connects -- can mean disqualification. Sandy Hopkins is the only woman in the British team. She competes alone in an event called Kata -- specially devised for women. It's a kind of shadow boxing, assessed in much the same way as gymnastic events. She's expected to finish in the first three of her class -- an indication of the team's overall ability.