Wow, what a day! In total we had 43 students from Bristol North and Bristol South clubs competing on the day. Mrs Martin and myself were busy officiating all day, as was Patrick Baker-Jones and Anastasia Maniotis from Bristol North – we are very grateful to both of you for your help.
There were a few issues with the temperature of the hall – it was a bitterly cold November day and there wasn’t sufficient heating to keep us all warm on the day. The organisers took this very much on board and are considering what to do about future competitions at this venue. But even though it was quite chilly, our crew really stepped up to put on some amazing performances!
For many of our students it was their first experience of a TaeKwon-Do competition. Competing is a nerve-wracking experience for everyone, but even more so if it is your first time! There were a few tears and some disappointed faces on the day. Firstly, shedding tears is a normal response to a huge adrenaline release that you get in a fight, it’s not so bad when you win, but the effect of the adrenaline and the emotions of the day just hit, and you cannot help crying. It doesn’t mean you are a bad loser, it just means you are dealing with very strong emotions. This is why competitions are important for us – it is part of our TaeKwon-Do development.
I want to remind all of you who didn’t come away with medals that you were all winners JUST BY WALKING OUT ONTO THAT FLOOR! With a competition of nearly 200 entrants of course not everyone is going to go home with a medal – but especially not if it’s their first ever competition. Your first time is about learning how competitions work, about realising that the people you are pitting yourself against are not dissimilar to you – they are about the same age, height, level of experience – you are easily good enough to be competing against them! So please, stop to remind yourself of what you did achieve by competing – I hope that you paid attention to those in your divisions who ultimately did take home medals and are now thinking about what you could do next time in order to beat them! But most of all, we, your instructors, families, fellow students are all PROUD OF YOU for getting up and giving it a go!
If I have one bit of advice to improve your sparring for the next competition, it is to kick with your front legs MUCH more. Many of you were beaten by people kicking with their front legs. And you all need to kick higher!
So on to the results and a brief bit of discussion about what we saw on the day – which I’m sorry to say wasn’t actually too much as we were so busy officiating most of the time!
Starting with the children’s patterns –Neil Bhandari from Bristol North came away with silver for boys red belt patterns, and Artur Juniewicz and Kyle Williams from Bristol South both came away with joint bronze for blue belt boys patterns. For the cadets, Sri Shruti Shikaram from Bristol North got gold for white/yellow cadet female patterns, with Lily Watts from Bristol South getting bronze in the same division. Phoenix Brandon from Bristol South got bronze for red belt patterns, Manav Shikaram from Bristol North got gold for blue belt patterns with Ben Morris from Bristol South getting the silver in the same division (it seems the Shikaram family were on fire with their patterns on the day!).
In the adult patterns divisions, Rhys Morris from Bristol South gained gold for his pattern at blue & red belt, with Karl Ingram gaining bronze in the same division. A big mention here to Dillon Wagay from Bristol South for getting bronze at mens 1st & 2nd dan patterns – you really stepped up and impressed us (yes, I was on the judging panel, it can be very tricky remaining impartial when judging so many of our students I can tell you!).
Moving on to speed kicking – a new event for many but one that you seemed to enjoy (indeed you all seem to have enjoyed having a go at it in class in the past couple of weeks!). The practicing seems to have paid off! This event is only for the juniors and cadets (adults can do destruction instead should they choose – not that any of you did on this occasion!). For Bristol North; in the girls blue belt division Hei Wun Constance Tan brought home silver and Jonas Lau got silver for boys green belt. Janu Sapkota got bronze at black belt boys – a much harder division where the competitors weren’t allowed to put their foot down AT ALL (this was changed on the day to make it harder and we hadn’t even practiced so a big well done to all those who gave this a try!). At cadet level Ayomiposi Fadahunsi brought home gold at blue belt, followed very closely by Manav Shikaram adding to his medal haul with Silver in the same division. From Bristol South Phoenix Brandon also added to his medals bringing in silver in the cadet male red belt division.
Moving on to sparring: Hei Wun Constance Tan brought home bronze in the girls blue belt division, after a close fight with Nishka Tanwani – both from Bristol North. It’s always hard to fight against our friends from within our own clubs – and very hard for us watching to know who to cheer on (the shout often heard on these occasions is ‘Come on Revolution!’). Also from Bristol North Lok Him Alvin Lee achieved silver in peewee boys blue belt division, Jens Lau got bronze in green belt boys middleweight division and Hughson Tan got bronze for blue belt light heavyweight boys, whilst Neil Bhandari got silver for red belt middleweight boys. Janu Sapkota did brilliantly to bring home silver in black belt boys middleweight. For Bristol South Arjun Sharma brought home bronze for blue belt boys lightweight sparring, then Tom Gent again did really well to bring home bronze for black belt lightweight boys sparring. I want to give special mention here to Amir Arshad for winning his first two fights and losing his third – a brilliant performance for your first competition. Mentions also go to Henrique de Oliveira Castro for what we’re told was an awesome pattern – though sadly not bringing home the bling this time.
For the cadet sparring; Ben Morris added to his pattern medal with a bronze for blue belt middleweight division and Ayomiposi Fadahunsi also added to his medal count with bronze in the blue belt heavyweight division. Saxon Austin fought very well in the light heavyweight cadet division, though missed out on the medals. We then witnessed a very impressive fight in the black belt heavyweight division between Jack White and Joe Cox, both from Bristol North, Jack bringing home gold and Joe the silver in a very much admired and controlled fight (previous fights in this division had become somewhat excited leading to an injury – they were all asked to calm it down which these two gents did, superbly).
Moving on to the adults; Rhys Morris added to his medals with a silver in the red belt middleweight division and Yaksh Mithani from Bristol North brought home silver in the middleweight black belt division. Rebecca Morris from Bristol South found her black belt executive ladies division merged with the younger ladies and yet managed to bring home silver from her unexpectedly continuous fight! Awesome stuff. Karl Ingram added to his pattern medal bringing home gold for executive male blue belt heavyweight division, then Paul Fitzjames from Bristol South brought home a bronze for executive male red belt middleweight.
To sum up, a brilliant day, great atmosphere (if a bit chilly!), great results, lots of fun had and perhaps friendships made. Here’s to the next one!
Total medal count: Gold: 5 Silver: 15 Bronze: 16.