8 representatives of Shaftesbury TKD travelled to Reading for the Imperial British Championships, the event was attended by over 750 people including competitors from Nepal, South Africa, Italy and Spain - Many competitors were on the World and European championship line. Getting a medal here would be a massive achievement. After much dedication and fighting spirit, our club is proud to announce:
"Well after months of training, organising hotels, travel and patient instruction from Mr Carr and Mr Kelly, the Championships are upon us.
Arriving at the Rivermead Leisure Centre Tracey, Michael and I encountered the mother of all queues to enter the event. Whilst outside we noted the coaches with a bundle of passes to compete and gain entry for their individuals, well this could get interesting as ours are not here till Sunday I thought. But then we were pleasantly distracted as William, his granddad Les and his father Phil turned up. Now this is one dedicated little warrior, he was literally buzzing with excitement.
Anyway, I bumped into Dr Hayley Parker, who advised me on how to gain our passes for the event. After thanking her we proceeded indoors.
Inside we were greeted by a tumultuous cacophony of sound, (which you would expect with hundreds of children milling around, and some big kids) after gaining a quick promotion (yes, I am the instructor for Shaftes TKD I lied, ahem) we had our passes. We then negotiated our way to some vacant seats and we then changed into our Dobok’s ready to compete.
The event started on time, and we waited patiently for the little ninjas, sorry William and Michael to compete in their patterns. In both rounds these lads epitomised all of the Tenets of TaeKwon-Do and maturity far beyond their years. Both of them performed to the best of their ability, but unfortunately, did not go further than the first round.
However, I was impressed by their efforts and how they analysed the other competitors in their respect categories, they both demonstrated integrity.
Soon it was my turn to perform my pattern, for anyone that knows me let’s just say that this discipline is not my strongest suit, so no surprise here when I did not go forward into round two, but I remembered all of the pattern and its nuances……..result!
Mr Prins Competing in Patterns
After a while the sparring aspect of the day was announced, to which the lads were anticipating all day, William started first with a sterling performance against his opponent kicking and punching for all his worth, this is one dynamo in the ring. At the end of the round William had given his all, but the judging went against him. He was obviously dejected but both Phil and Les consoled him. As this was his first major competition I personally thought he was brilliant in even entering the arena, as at his age I never competed, so hats off to him. As you will understand from this account Tracey, Michael and I were not there to support William as Michael was sparring in ring four and I was getting ready in ring two. That would be my only criticism but I think in realistic terms that Mr Skyrme could not have anticipated this type of outcome.
Tracey informed me that Michael had given an excellent account of himself despite being hit below the belt twice. The umpire interjecting on both occasions, so much so that the crowd began cheering for him, despite the new fan club Michael did not garner enough support from the judges and unfortunately lost that round.
I had asked Mr Walkinshaw from Blue Dragon TKD if he would be in my corner for my event, as it was I had more than one individual with me soon enough as my opponent landed a beautiful kick and it was lights out for yours truly – in other words, I had been KO’d! After a short respite of a few seconds I tried to get up but the umpire was having none of it, or the Red Cross people, judges, Mr Walkinshaw, Tracey and god knows who else. I got up after about 10 seconds I carried on for the reminder of the bout; I swear there were two opponents. At the end my opponent James went through, and at least one of him was apologising and asking how I was, I could not make out what the other version of him was saying. He went on to win so at least I got K.O’d by the winner. I was shocked, to gain a Bronze to say the least, maybe it was for best K.O?
Later on in the day everyone had decamped to the coffee bar. The special technique aspect had been called and was underway very quickly and the lads missed that event, but they had had enough we all felt. The only discipline was the breaking technique, this ran at the same time as the special technique and space was limited, however, one individual was leading and all the rest had not achieved a break in response to both of his clean breaks (hand and foot), I too joined that the rest as I bounced of the two boards. I was not disheartened as I felt the day had been very enjoyable and was anticipating the rest of our club’s attendances come Sunday.
The side stalls at the event were a good idea and I wish to thank Master Nicholls for going out of his way to have his picture taken with Michael that made his day, thank you. William had a cracking day and was eagerly awaiting the next event, he is definitely one to watch.
Finally, special thanks must go to the organisers and all of the umpires, judges and individuals who embodied the spirit of our art."
Sunday written by Mr Carr
"The following day, another 6 competitors drove down to Reading with Mr Kelly in the minibus, the journey took just under 4 hours and we arrived very very short of time - Mr Morris had been called for patterns 5 minutes before we even arrived, luckily Master Nicholls spotted us looking worried and got him to the right ring just in time, thank you sir! The first Shaftes competitor to pick up a medal was Megal Clay, who was awarded Gold for her patterns category! Master Nicholls made a short speech welcoming us, and thanked the competitors, spectators, umpires and Masters for supporting the event, this was met with a round of applause and the competition atmosphere grew.
The sparring begun shortly after, the judging was done using Imperial's electronic scoring displayed on huge Plasma screens. After several rounds in black belt sparring, Mr Morris and Mr Birkett picked up Bronze medals for welterweight and Hyperweight - well deserved!! Meanwhile, Mr Carr was having no success in patterns - more training needed! Our day was rounded off with an intense fight as Matt Walls picked up Bronze in colour belt sparring.
After the event, I truly believe competitions are about seeing things, learning and supporting. After all, only a few minutes are spent competing and the other 4-5 hours you are supporting your team and taking in everything going on around you."