MARTIAL ARTS: KARATE instructor Lee Williams and his Ellesmere Port-based team have overcome the cream of Europe tosecureaone-twofinishat the Malta Open Championships.

Sensei Williams' Bukonkai squad, who train attheEPIC,entered twoteamsinthe prestigious tournament on the Mediterranean islandandboth madeitthroughto the final.

The trio of Steve Creasy, Steve Jones and Patrick Galea took the honours against team-mates Dave Morris, Rob Ellison and Simon Francis who secured runners-up spot.

Williams said: 'The competition is expanding all the time and this year, some of the very best people from across the continent were taking part from as far afield as the Netherlands and Poland.

The opposition was of an extremely high standard and we were taking part for the first time but our lads made it all the way through to face each other in the final. The team category was the main event and it was in that section that we really blossomed.

'We obviously knew that we'd be up against the very best and it would be tough as we were making our competition debut but we couldn't have asked for more than taking both first and second spotandwe'renow lookingforwardtothe BKI Nationals in Rossett in October. It's a big competition virtually on our doorstep with clubs from all over Great Britain and possibly Europe taking part.'

Williams, whose late father Colin founded Bukonkai Karate International, has been involved in the martial art for more than 30 years.

He has 12 clubs across the country under his jurisdiction including Chester, Crewe and Wrexham as well as Luton, Edgware, Cuddington, Dunstable, South-water, Marford, Wakefield, Birchington and Houghton Regis.

Bukonkai is a particularly traditional form and it is these values that Williams appreciates.

He said: 'Not only is it good for physical fitness, it also teaches a lot of discipline and self-respect, especially for the youngsters who come into the club. It's a martial art that is ideal for everybody, regardless of age, sex or ability.

'Everyone is welcome and we have an ongoing beginners' class which enables new starters to learn the very basics from qualified instructors who will bring them up to speed.' Ellesmere Port Karate train at the EPIC at 7pm on Mondays and at Sutton High School at 7pm on Wednesdays. For more details log on to