9 members of the Isle of Wight Tae Kwon-Do club travelled to Swindon for the 2018 PUMA International Open Tae Kwon-Do Championships at the weekend (18th/19th February).
Saturday was reserved specifically for black belt only events and it started well with a Bronze medal for Kayden Yates in the junior black belt patterns division. The young man’s day got even better when he won Gold in the heavy-weight junior sparring. He breezed through the early rounds and showed great skill and control in the final to win against a strong fighter.
Next up was Jack Redfern competing in the cadet sparring division. Again there were a high standard of competitors but Jack fought bravely and came away with a Bronze medal.
The first adult member of the club to compete was David Yates in the black belt sparring division. His first opponent was a 6th degree Black Belt but this did not phase David and he fought well against a very experienced opponent. His next round was a tough battle and unfortunately he lost on a split decision but still coming away with 3rd place and a Bronze medal.
The afternoon’s divisions started with senior black belt patterns and both Pete Scotcher and Joe Ramskill progressed through the early rounds and then met in the final. Both were required to perform 2 different patterns of the judge’s choice and the Gold was awarded to Pete Scotcher, with Joe getting a well-deserved Silver for a strong performance.
Joe then went straight over to the next area for sparring. He fought well but lost out to a very experienced competitor and national squad member in the semi- final and won 3rd place.
The final event of the day was power testing where entrants attempt to break multiple boards with various hand and foot techniques. David Yates came away with a Bronze medal from a large group of experienced opponents.
Sunday was the turn of the colour belts and early in the day it was time for Charlie Preece in the junior red belt patterns category. This was a large group and Charlie was unlucky to lose in the quarter final, just missing out on a medal.
The first club member to spar on the day was Enzo Concliffe and he was in the junior yellow belt category. His first opponent was highly skilled and seemed very experienced for someone so young. This did not deter Enzo and he carried on fighting right up to the final bell and really did himself and the club proud. He was unfortunate to miss out on a medal after such a brave performance in a very high standard group of fighters at that age and grade.
Ollie Ash and Charlie Preece were both called up to their junior sparring events at the same time so Kerry Scotcher went to coach Charlie and Chief Instructor Pete Scotcher coached Ollie. Yet again the standard was high in both divisions with very talented and strong opposition.
Charlie was very close to winning a medal but sadly not this time. Ollie Ash at his first mainland tournament was nervous but kept his calm and won his first round convincingly with some well-timed kicks. His quarter-final opponent was faster and stronger but Ollie kept to the game plan and a good finish saw him into the semi-final. His opponents got better with each round and early in the semi-final, Ollie was a way behind on points. After a change of tactics was advised by his coach, Ollie followed the game-plan perfectly and landed some great counter techniques to claw back the deficit and control the 2nd half of the round. A split decision went against him but he was still all smiles with his bronze medal.
The day and weekend was rounded off with another Silver medal for Neville Concliffe in his sparring division. A total of 10 medals from the 9 club members including 2 International Open Champions made it a weekend to remember.
More details about the club can be found at www.iowtkd.com.