Sempai Steve Fenwick entered the Shidokan Full contact Karate European Championships in March 2002.
Jon Tilley from Shuko Freestyle karate asks Steve about his experience and investigate his thought's , feelings and motives for full contact fighting and how did he feel after winning Bronze medal.

Shown right Steve can be seen fighting under knockdown rules

Jon. What format is a Shidokan competition?
Steve. It is a knockout tournament in which you have to fight in quarter finals, Semis and hopefully the Final. Each round consists of three seperate sections. One section of knockdown Karate (similar to Kyokushin rules), a second of Thai boxing and finally an all in section which includes punches, kicks, grappling, throws and Judo style submissions.
Jon. Which section is your personal favorite
Steve Knockdown Karate, I haven't got the experience in Thai or Judo yet.
Jon. Did you train hard for the fight?
Steve. I didn't train as hard as I would have liked, but as hard as I could concidering the confines of work etc.
Jon. Were you nervous leading up to the fight?
Steve. To be honest, I wasn't. There were the odd butterflies in the days running up to the tournament, but the only real nerves started at the venue and the event started.

Jon. Who did you fight first?
Steve. I was lucky to get a bye through to the quarter finals, in which I faced a Polish fighter Called Grzegorz Chabulinski
Jon. Was he a tough opponent?
Steve. I had to go for three rounds, the first two were knock down karate and the third was Thai Boxing. It was pretty evenly matched, but I think it was my thigh kicks that brought me through on top. In the Thai round I avoided his head punches and kept banging in low kicks. I didn't feel comfortable fighting Thai, I'm not a fan of getting punched in the head. continued below

Jon. After the first victory did you expect to progress further or does it get tougher as you progress?
Steve. I already knew that I'd be fighting a Russian called Ramil Sadeevand I was already doubting the chances of success.
Psychologically it's not good if you know your opponent is going to be stronger, faster and fitter than you. I was hoping to do my best and hopefully make a fight of it. I lasted about a minute, he won on two half points, a punch to my solar plexus, which put me down and a knee to the head which also put me down. That unfortunately is all it takes and you're out.
Jon. Who won your category?
Steve. It was a Lithuanian called Jordanas Poskaitis. The Lithuanians won all the categories.
Jon. Did you pick up any injuries?
Steve. I actually felt good after the tournament, far better than after the previous tournaments, when I probably haven't fought so many rounds. The only pain was in my shins and that was because my shin block was working well and I caught nearly all his thigh kicks.
Jon. Did you enjoy the event?
Steve. Very much so, especially because I did a lot of fighting with out picking up serious injuries. I feel even more motivated to train hard and compete again this year.

How did it feel to win Bronze medal at the European Championships?
Steve. I guess it is always nice to come home with a medal or trophy, particularly from the European Championships. The fact that I only had to win one fight to win the medal, ditracts a little from the achievement, it would have been preferable to have fought through a couple of earlier rounds. Generally though I was delighted with my performance and feel that I fought to the best of my ability, defeating one tough opponent and holding my own against a top Russian, at least for a short period. So really it was my personal performance rather than the trophy that I am more pleased with.
Jon. Do you think you will carry on competing?
Steve. Yes, I think I've got a few years left in me and I hope to carry on improving, maybe I can even make a fight of it with the Eastern Europeans.
Jon. Would you recommend full contact fighting to other people?
Steve. That's a tricky one. I get a buzz from this type of fighting, but it's not for everybody. If somebody really wanted to take on the challenge and the small risk of serious injury, I'd encourage them, but if somebody was only half hearted and had doubts I'd definitely try to talk them out of it. I believe that same self doubt or half hearted attitude is how people get hurt.
Jon. Thankyou Steve for the fascinating insight into Shidokan full contact fighting.