There were eight bouts in total, with Murray’s mighty warriors winning three and drawing two.
“This whole Japan trip has ranked up there with some of my best experiences which I’ve been involved with in over 30 years in the sport,” Murray said. “We started planning this eight months ago. It took an awful lot of toing and froing and fund raising to get a team out there. For many, it was the trip of a lifetime.”

He added: “Holy smoke, every single one of our guys was incredible. Ursula Agnew was first out of the blocks and set the wining standard by overwhelming her opponent to take a unanimous decision. Mark Bird picked up The Best Technique Award. When you’re traveling to one of the global centres for a sport and you are being rewarded for your technical ability that says an awful lot about you as a person and the team around you. I’m immensely proud of this gang of kickboxers. They’ve done Northern Ireland proud!”

Hurray was fulsome in his praise.
"We all accomplished a great thing here,” he said. “Two countries coming together through peace, friendship and respect to compete in a combat sport. How often does this happen? I can answer that easily, not often enough. “This was an event with real young amateurs from different cultures and backgrounds who had the chance to travel to the home of martial arts and compete. New friends were made here, How great is that!”

There are plans for the team to return to Japan next year for the decider.For more information and pictures about Northern Ireland's kickboxing ProKick team in Japan check back here at

Select Team event - Northern Ireland Vs Japan 
3分×2R - K1 Style kickboxing Weight 65kg 
Mark Bird Vs Takashi Makimura - draw
2分×2R - K1 Style kickboxing Weight 72kg
Johnny Smith Vs Aatsushi Sato winner 
2分×2R - K1 Style kickboxing Weight 76kg  
Greig Anderson Vs Takaaki Nagami winner
2分×2R - K1 Style kickboxing Weight 68kg  
 David Foster Vs Shinsuke Doi draw 
2分×2R - K1 Style kickboxing Weight 70kg
Karl McBlain winner Vs Shiniti Osada 
2分×2R - K1 Style kickboxing Weight 76kg
Michael O'Neil Vs Jyunnya Satonaka winner

2分×2R - K1 Style kickboxing Weight 72kg
Andrew McCrear
y winner Vs Abdul Marik 

FEMALE – Girl:
2分×2R - K1 Style kickboxing Weight 58kg
Ursula Agnew winner Vs Mituki Morikawa
Well done all who took part. A big thanks to Organiser and match maker Doi, Mr Perfect Ernesto Hoost and to all back home who helped raise the funds.
Check out what K1 writer Stuart Tonkin said about the event