November 23rd, what is this then?
Well it was the day the Open British TaeKwon-Do Championships took place. It meant an early start for young competitors, coaches and umpires. It was cold and wet and, it was my 46th Birthday.
This tournament had 653 competitors and we were there from 7am until 9pm, it was a long day but the Banstead TKD competitors took it all in their stride and showed excellent behaviour and wonderful team spirit.
I'd like to say well done to all the Banstead TKD and Extreme TKD students that entered.
Jerry (red belt from Master Dennis)
I am so proud of you all.
A huge thank you to Master Russell Dennis for stepping in as one of the referees (we were meant to send two or pay a fine, we had to pay £50 fine) . Master Dennis was there from 7:30am.
Thank you to Mike Greatley (Jerry's Dad) who was a registered coach for the day. Mike was there from 7am with Jerry to collect all the registration cards for our competitors and coaches and he stayed to support and coach the entire team until close to 9pm.
Thank you to the parents that spent the majority of their day, either from 7am to 3pm or 11am to 9pm, at the K2 in Crawley. The proud parents are: Mike, Paul (Hollie), Nicky (Edie and Ethan), Wendy (Georgia and Dan).
Thank you to the organisers who put on a well organised event.
Suffice to say that all our students performed out of their skin and literally at their very best I have ever seen.
The competitor field was strong, experienced, international, confident, talented and well behaved and I am EXTREMELY PROUD of all our team.
Jerry, from Master Dennis' classes, is a strong competitor and came away two medals but will need to confirm with his Dad what they were for.
Hollie had a difficult division but came away with a Silver in Female Blue Belt under 11's Sparring. This is an excellent result for Hollie and the club.
Dan had a long day and couldn't spar because 3 days before the comp someone threw a biscuit at his face and he ended up with a scratched eye, unable to see clearly until it heals and any head contact could put him back to square one.
Despite his movements and patterns being really good he got knocked out of the patterns in round one, his opponent had very accurate movements. If you think I am strict, multiply that by a billion and you're getting close.
He then spent 8 hours waiting for his turn at special technique. He was extremely patient and helped support the rest of the team when they were sparring.
Having known Georgia since she was born I was super proud of her skill and drive when sparring against a girl from Sweden, she had not sparred at this level before and showed great perseverance when her mouth was bleeding and finding it difficult to breath behind her large gum-shield which protects her braces.
Her patterns were good, but again against a very good competitor and she was eliminated at round one.
Being Edie's Dad, I almost cried when she was sparring, it was difficult to encourage her to spar at an international tournament when she finds it hard to spar anyway. However, she sparred the best she ever has done and showed great skill in movement and technique, she just needs to believe in herself and great things will come. Her fitness needs to be improved though ;)
The sparring contact for all ages 11 and upwards was heavy. There were quite a few instances of the medics required for the adult sparing matches.
I saw some insanely excellent sparring from teenage blackbelts.
A further well done to all those that entered the tournament, a sincere apology to those whose entry I messed up, thank you to Mike Greatley and Master Dennis and the parents.
We have learned that if we want to compete at the highest level then we need to be more accurate with our positions and more defined with our movements. This may not be the ideal way to do patterns, but it looks like it works for patterns competitions. In sparring we have learned that we need to be fitter. We need to excel for 2 minutes, rather than survive. The skill level could be increased and then confidence would rise.
A final WELL DONE and CONGRATULATIONS to all those that took part. I know this competition has sparked some fire in my own children and they have both requested that we travel to Scotland for the 2020 event.