Bristol \Open

Bristol \Open
15 Oct

Results today from a packed Bristol open

Ollie 1st

Laurence 1st

Charlotte 1st, 3rd

Gabrielle 2nd

Liz. 2nd, 3rd

Maggie 2nd,3rd

George 2nd, 3rd

Rory 3rd.

Robbie 3rd

Adam, Belle, Ellis, Katrina, Mitch, Rossi, Kerry, Cat, Paige and Andy, no podium today but some great fighting against tough opponents.

The year has taken it's toll on  our team with injuries keeping a few people out . Well done to Liz and Rory though for fighting with broken noses and for Paige fighting with a broken hand.
Bristol was a tournament bristling with national and international talent this weekend.
Belle and Katrina really showed improvement today Much better and really tightening up those techniques.
Laurence did well in his first tournament, winning it outright in style. Some great head kicks there as well.
Gabby also showed his talent in his first tournament. Great reverse punches. Brother Ollie showed him the way with a fine gold medal as well. 
Regardless of result it is always the  performance and development that matters. To see our intermediate grade veterans fighting and beating much more experienced fighters, Our kids moving up to different  size, age, weight  and grade categories etc or watching Cat gaining experience taking  on the best (and biggest) in the world unflinchingly shows a great future. Our fighters span the complete competetive spectrum from youngest to oldest, from beginner to international champion, the ladder of success is there for all to climb however far you wish to scale it.
There were some unlucky points and some  very dubious ones. I was fighting as much as our team throughout the day against some bad and incompetent decisions for which I got disqualified! 
All people make mistakes, and we accept that, we may moan or roll our eyes, but it is a  fact and we acknowledge and understand this, But  there is a great gulf between the class and professionalism of the competitiors and the way some officials  run their mats. They make a great show of acting official and professional, but tend not to display the necessary knowledge and experience to give good value for money to the paying competitors, Coaches and spectators. Some also display, Dare I say it, a lack of honesty to admit their  mistakes. The prevailing attitude seems to be to get the fights done and move on regardless of the quality of decision or accuracy fo results. Differnt officials (from the top down) have competing ideas on what the rules are which also compounds the issue. I was told when I complained about a referees sheer lack of ability to keep up with the speed of a top level fight (Not my fighter) that it was ok because in the next bout she gave a bad decision our way!?  I can only surmise that the attitude is "It's ok as long as the incompetence is spread evenly"!  When I asked to report an official  I was told that if I want to make a complaint about the organisation and i'ts  officials then I have to pay that very organisation £50 for the privilege and that they will not accept video evidence. How's that for a way of stopping people making complaints?
When Referees are asked to be on the mats concentrating for over 11 hours each day is it any wonder that mistakes are regularily made, even by the best and most experienced. The argument is that we do not have enough refs and therefore we have to work what we have hard to meet the demand, but this highlights the fact that we do not have the human resources to run tournaments of this  size and quality and and should admit this and start building the infrastructure and training regime  that is needed before they attemp it. Because it is the competitors, coaches, clubs and spectators that are paying their time and money to watch organisers and officials  fudge things and stick bandaids on gaping wounds whilst we  are informed that it will be better in the future.
My personal opinion is that an odd number of referees, (3)  taking up space on a square  mat, watching 2 fighters who constantly change their position is not the best system to start with. With refs  on their feet all day and and having to move  to get a better angle to view or to look where other referees are positioned, get out of the way of the fighters etc, interact with scorers, officials and coaches while the fight is running, plus the many other distractions and tasks is it any wonder that more mistakes are made than need be and the stress levels of all is sky high.
Better I think to have the refs sitting down on each corner of the area and focussing only on what they can see from their fixed vantage point. (as in light contact bouts) With one experienced official on the mat controlling the fight. It will take more referees, but the job will be simpler and people can be brought up to speed quicker without the all the miriad of multitasking required at the moment. 
The spectacle of the Bristol open is amazing and many aspects have been developed and improved by the  organisers to make sure it runs as smoothly as possible. We all apppreciate the hard work and effort they exert just to put it on. My concerns are not with the running and organisation of the tournament. neither are they isolated to this one tournament.
There are certain people making inroads into improving the situation and we applaud them and give them our full support and backing, because it is through them and their integrity, new deas and thinking that we will take our great sport to the level it deserves. The competitors and clubs are already there, we are just waiting for the rest of them to catch up.
I live in hope.


On to the Grand Slam in November Team. 

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