We took a squad of 20 down to the Chessington open in April. There would have been more peole fighting, but the previous day was the trampolining session for the club and some were nursing sore legs.
Chessington is a round robin tournament and a great opportunity for fighters to get mat time and experience, or just have a run out. There are a mix of abilities and grades here.
Up first were the teams and in ours were George, Curtis, Gribbs and Kat. The points were accrued rather than individul fights scored. We had a very close fight with Guildford. All fighters giving their best, especially Kat who fought the winner of the Irish open and refused to back down eventually getting a draw. George stepped out for the fight off and although we thought he scored on his opponent, he lost the bout by one point??
Kids were up next. Rossi fought his usual cagey fights, but lost all four of them 1-0. It is to his credit that he can keep his opponent from scoring, but we are now working on his punching and attacking so that he can win these bouts in future.
Maggie had a good final bout in which she was using her reverse punch much more and her usual excellent kicking. Her opponent had the better of the punches however and Maggie had to settle for 2nd.
Laynar met Aimee in the final and it wasa close affair with Laynar pushing her side kick out and using her accurate reverse punch and Aime blitzing her points. Laynar ran out the eventual winner and Aimee 2nd.
Chloe fought in her first ever tournament and only had one opponent in the tiny's category. She had to fight two rounds and threrw some excellent punches. Chloe can sometimes become static and her opponent capitalised on this scoring two or three points. Chloe attempted to fight back and hit a lovely stepping backfist in the final seconds. It wasn't enough however and she was 2nd.
Owen fought his first tournament as well, Using his front hand to good effect in the early rounds. He met a very competent fighter in the final and the points were close. Near the bell Owen had to score to level the fight. He Chased his opponent down and hit a lovely backfist. Unfortunately the Ref said he just called time a split second befor the strike, so Owen had to have 2nd place.
Gribbs fought in the seniors and gave a great perfomance. Some lovely straight punches to the head. Sometimes he can be impatiant and throw attacks from too far away and this proved costly today.
George Fought in the seniors and won his first round 8-1 against an opponent he has lost to on previous occasions. It is showing how he has improved. In the final He fought against someone who he had beaten and felt comfortable, but his points didn't seem to be scored. In the final seconds he scored a backfist and the refs gave it the other way giving the fight to his opponent. George through his gloves up in the air in frustration but soon got over it. This is the fight game, there are many variables and the decisions are made by others. When you fight alot you can risk losing more. You peak for the big tournaments and sometimes at the smaller ones there is not so much to psych for.
Andy Evans fought Vinnie in the first fight of their section and had to contend with Vinnies long and broken style which he did well. Throwing counter kicks and reverse punches. Vinnie Ran out the eventual winner of the section however With Andy gainin a creditable 2nd.
Andy then went on to fight in the Intermediate section against a heavier and more experienced opponent. Andy's Front leg scored well as a counter and his reverse punch and movement has made great improvements. This led to him controlling the fight and winning the section 1st place
More to come.
Wednesday 15th April saw the legendary Jadi Tention visit BKO to give a world class seminar. Jadi Is one of the greatest points fighters and his charisma and teaching abilty is renowned throught the world.
The Seminar began with Jadi saying a few words about what he was trying to achieve thorugh the class. He pointed out that people tend to look at the end result when watching a fight. They see the reverse punch or the kick, but it is the set up that allows the score and this is a much neglected area. With that we began working on footwork practice followed by some evil squat drills. "Prison squats and Russian squats" were the worst. We then put the footwork in to practice and then working with partners tried to impliment it into a fighting situation.
Jadi then showed us his attacking moves using a step before the blitz and explained how he was looking to get his feet into a space so that he could score. We practiced this for an hour and tried it in a practical situation.
Following this was sparring in Which Jadi joined in and sparred with most of the class.His abilty and timing became very apparent during the sparring as did his strong side kick!
The seminar finished with a question and answer session in which we learnt about Jadi's thoughts on other fighters, preparing for a tournament and his favourite kung fu movies mongst many other things.
A great seminar with an awesome inspirational teacher and fighter. We learnt loads and had many more things to take back to training including some very sore legs from the Russian squats.
Sunday March 22nd saw the first Superleague tournament of the year at Windsor. This was also the first time that we have taken a kids team to this tournament. The Superleage is a series of six regional tournaments that culmonate in a final competition at the end of the year. Points are awarded for places and Grand championship trophies awarded. This year had seen a change to the categories as in previous years some became rather empty with just two or three competitors. This benefited some areas and made it harder in others. the kids categories were seperated into novice and Intermediate/Advanced. This meant that green belts would be up against black belts. On the other hand novices would compete no higher than 3rd grade.
First up was Rossi, Robbie and Maggie Brown. Being green belts they were in the inter/advanced category. Robbie fought a good Bristol fighter and traded legs well, but was beaten to the punch on a couple of occasions which swung the fight to his opponent. Maggie had a similar fight in her section. Once again the more experienced fighter won, but Maggie showed her skill and kicking ability. Rossi got a bye into the quarter finals. he circled his opponent and moved around the mat well. keeping him at bay with his side kick. Once again experience told and Rossi let a couple of points slip which lost him the fight.
On the whole a great performance from the Browns fighting in a higher category, but demonstrating not only great technical skill, but strategy and movement as well. Fighting more experienced opponents it is just a case of more mat time before they achieve great results.
Laynar was moved from the novice girls u45kg category to the over 45kg one because there was no one in her section.
This section was the highest weight category and susequently had no upper limit. One girl was clearly much bigger than Laynar and vastly experienced. The referees had a long discussion about whether she should be moved up to the higher category. It was decided to allow her to carry on and she bcame Laynar's semi final opponent.
Laynar was very nervous coming into the fight, but she launched a great reverse blitz which I though scord easily but the point went to her opponent. Laynar was hit hard during this exchange and it rocked her but she didn't give up and attacked a few more times. The task was too much however and she lost the bout.
In the 3rd place fight off Laynar met a fighter closer to her size and ability. She gave a good account of herself here, pushing side kicks out and her long reverse punch found the target on a few occasions. She evenyually lost the bout and had to settle for fourth place. A great gutsy performance from Laynar and one she should be proud of. Her attitude and ability will gain her great rewards in the future when coupled with a little more experience.
As usual the adults had to wait till 6pm befor ethey got underway
Kat, ladies novice. fought her customary cool fight. Still carrying her calf injury she revrese punched and blitzed her way to 2nd place. and 3rd place in the intermediate/advanced section.
Michelle entered the ladies Novice u70kg section and fought through to the final and the fight of the day She was being pushed by her opponents kicking and follow up combinations and having difficulty countering. Mitch was hit hard and down 7-3 when she decided that she'd had enough. Using what she learnt at Chris Astons seminar the previous day. Mitch went on a leg blocking and reverse counter spree. Putting her opponent on the back foot and Leveling the scores at 10-10. In the final seconds her opponent changed tactics and caught Michelle with a hook kick that won the fight, but what a great comeback. Unlucky Michelle. She also gained a 3rd place in the intermediat/advanced section
Spazzy got a well earned 3rd place yesterday. We saw a new determined and tactical fighter in her today, scoring spinning kicks and using great timing to win through. She even floord the ref with her banter and he had to stop the fight because he was laughing so much!
Paul entered the men's heavyweight intermediate section and after 9 seconds he launched a blitz which his opponent met and there was a loud bang as the two collided. Paul came off nursing his hand and had to retire. It turns out he has broken some fingers and dislocated one!! An early attempt to secure injury of the year no doubt.
Vinnie fought his customary hard fight in the Mens section. His straight right hand flooring his opponent on several occasions and his kicks casuing problems all over. He reached the final, but was unlucky not to win. He fought the huge guy who Paul injured his hand on managing 2nd place.
Vinnie then enered the veterans section Making it through to the semi final. You could see that Vin was tiring by this time and despite a good effort Vin lost, but managed to recover to win the 3rd place fight off.
George fought a hard bout with Brandon from the fighting Falcons in the first which went to sudden death. George made a small mistake and lost the bout on that one point Gribbs also fought, but didn't manage to prgress beyond the 1st round. In his own words "I didn't turn up today"!
Sean had a good fight in the novices section. demonstrating good timing again, but was unable to convert this into a win. He has great potential and will soon be winning fights and tournaments I am sure.
Not a bad day for BKO. After 9 tournaments so far this year and two seminars, everyone was a little jaded, but the level of skill and expectation has risen vastly since the start of the year. We have a month off to recharge the batteries and then make another assault on the tournament scene in April.
Michelle 2nd, 2nd
Kat 3rd, 2nd
Vinnie 2nd, 3rd
Also George, Gribbs, Paul, Sean, Robbie, Maggie, Kerry,
Ron 1st. Vinnie 3rd. Paul's injury of he year bid.
Saturday March 21st saw Chris Aston's seminar take place at BKO. We started at 12 noon and worked till 3 O'Clock.
Chris took us through some of the drills and strategies that he uses when on the mat. Faking before striking, working with the guard, pressing the leg kick, countering and movement were the themes of the day. We started with a gentle warm up. ( because we had a tournament the next day) Then moved on to some tag games striking only the legs and shoulder. Following that, The main body of the seminar were the drills for coping with the lead kick and countering as well as disguising your attack. Always Chris emphasised the need for proper movement and faking which kept us on our toes. We finished off with sparring in various forms.
A great day and many good tips for winning in tournaments.
Two tournaments in one day again for BKO
We took a sizeable team to Eastleigh to check out the new tournament series there and some of the squad went to the Kwon open in Birmingham.
Eastleigh is a small local tournament with two mats running, but is good for beginners and kids to gain experience as well as more advanced fighters looking for a run out.
First up were the kids sections. The fights were one minute duration which is too short really, but the kids got on with their work.
Reagan was first up and took a little time to get into the fight. He sussed his opponent out eventually and started to drive his reverse punch under the leading arm. Due to the 1 minute time limit howver, Reagan did not have enough time to rcover his lost points and went out of the competition.
Charlotte fought through several rounds and a 3 way final? (Which only ever seems to happen at these tournaments) Utilising her front leg kick in all her fights, Charlotte scored several head kicks and won her section well. Just wait till she starts using that awesome blitz!
Aimee was suffering from nerves and needed some coaxing to get her on the mat. She did not let her fear get the better of her and showed huge spirit to overcome her reluctance. She tried hard using her blitz and kicking techniques and did well to gain a 3rd place.
Tianna then stepped onto the mat and dominated with her strong side kicks and long punches. Tianna has great accuracy and hits quite hard when she wants to and this led to her winning her section comfortably.
There were quite a few BKO adults fighting today.
Michelle entered everything again. Using her timing and reverse punch she won the beginners section. She then entered the Advanced section and narrowly lost in the final. Not content with that Michelle entered the continuous section. Michelle adapted her style and strategy to work towards her opponents weakness in the final and it paid off as she took the gold.
Ian showed his class and well timed punches to win the novice mens section, Fighting Gra in the final who was looking sharp with his punches on the day. Sean gained a 3rd place in this section, and his first tournament. Sean has accurate punches and good timing. Just a bit more drilling the techniques to make them clean will see him win. So a 1st 2nd and 3rd for BKO here.
Tom discovered that when he kicks higher he can pressure his opponents and push them back, then score with his hand. He won through the first round but lost the second. Eventually he won the 3rd place fight off in only his second tournament.
Andy used the day to have some fun and stretch his legs and fought in the advanced section against taller fighters. He was at a bit of a disadvantage because the mats were small and there was no room for his customary movement and set up. Andy launched a beautiful reverse punch on his first opponent, but none of the refs scored it! Eventually he had to settle for a draw in what was another 3 way final. Andy's other opponent was a tall guy as well. The result was the same 2 draws, which meant that he was in 2nd place.
Marc entered the mens novice section. He has great timing and draws and scors on his opponent. Marc just needs to keep the pressure on to gain a win. I'm sure he will win a section very soon, It's just a matter of time. He fought Ian in the semi finals and Gra in the 3rd fight off finishing in 4th place.
Jimmy Was dominant in the mens section. Showing movement, setting up with his kicks and sharp backfists. He met a couple of BKO fighters on the way, but eventually won the section.
Marc entered his first points section against a much taller opponent who threw long front kicks and backfist combination. Marc was blocking the front kick with his arm, but the refs were scoring it. This meant that he had a lot of ground to recover in the second half of the fight. This proved difficult and mark lost eventually getting 4th place
Paul Corio turned up for a bout and did well in his section, scoring his long blitz several times. He eventually got 2nd place.
Jimmy and Marc entered the continuous section and their only opponent was a huge mountain of a guy. Marc fought him first and scored some nice body punches, but his opponent was long and heavy and it was difficult to gain any consistent scoring. The judges gave the fight to the other guy. Jimmy then fought him and moved around a lot. then struck with fast jabs and crosses before moving out again. Jim won the bout. The final fight was between Jim and Mark. Jim played the same movement game and Mark chased. He hit Jim with some hard shots, but Jim scored more. 1st to Jim and 3rd place to Mark.
Kids team were up next. In ours was Reagan, Charlotte and Aimee. In the first round Regan came into his own and beat his opponent as did Charlotte. Aimee was once again nervous and once again she defeated them and stepped on the mat where she beat the fighter who beat her in the individual sections. There was no stopping the BKO team here and we fought through to the final. Once again we dominated and won all 3 fights giving us the gold.
The adults team consisted of Andy, Jim and Michelle. We thought there were supposed to be one female fighter in each team, but this was not the case. In the first round. Andy won his bout and so did Jim. Michelle had to fight a male fighter and she eventually won making it a clean sweep. In the next round we were once again victorious With Andy's fast movement and lunging reverse and jims strong kicks and backfist working well. Michelle beat the girl who she lost to in the senior section and we were into the final. Once again Andy and Jim won their bouts. Mitch had a hard bout against a male fighter that she lost, but took it to him the whole fight. 1st place to BKO. and top of the league for club points.
A good day out for everyone at a local tournament which ended at 4 o'clock.
On the same Sunday. BKO took a small squad to the Birmiingham Kwon tournament. This tournament is about the same standard as a Superleague with variations here and there. It is a league over 3 tournaments and BKO fighters have points from the previous tournament.
George fought in two senior sections and although he reached the final in both, he was still feeling jaded after his battles in Dublin the previous week. George gained 2 silvers.
Kat fought in the Ladies Novice section. Still holding a calf injury that restricts her movement and blitzing she managed to powere her way to a gold. She then entered the intermediates section where she reached the second round.Not content with that she entered the Veterans section and won a gold there as well. Not bad for someone who can't move properly.
Vinnie entered the mens Novice section and dominated with his long kicks and reight hand winning gold. He then entered the Intermediate section and was pipped in the final into second place. Vinnie had entered the Veterans as well but had to pull out due to a very painful ear. It turns out that he had perforated his ear drum during training that week and had it hit again during the final.
No one took any photos or videos at this tournament. So that is it I'm afraid. :)
We could get up a little later today as the kids sections were on before the adults. We arrived at the venue at 11am and began scouring the walls of entry sheets for our fighters. Despite the size of the Dublin open and the level of organisation, it is still very hard to find out where you are fighting and what time? I decided to put all the information on a sheet so we could refer to it. The first fight of the novices was due to take place at 1.20pmThis however didn't materialise util 7pm!!! We set up camp and warmed up a little then chilled out around the fighting areas. George was up first in the mens open weight. The star section to win with all the top fighters entering. George beat an irish fighter to begin with and had to me American superstars team fighter Robbie Lavoie. George began in his usual way, with movement, while Lavoie was shouting and psyching himself up. He attacked George sensing an easy win, but was brought up short when George countered to his head. You could see lavoie do a re-take and realise that he had to work alot harder for this one. The points went back and forth and I think that George was not scored some 1 each points because the refs were lokking to the better known fighter. Near the end of the fight george had to pull out a couple fo head kicks to win. he launched a round house that hit lavoie in the head. unfortunately there was no time for George to get another attack in and he lost by a point.
Vinnie fought next and had a fighter that was very slippery.Moving around and evading. Vinnie needed to score body shots but washead hunting a little. He pushed his opponent back continuously and at one point hit a nice side kick to the body that wasn't scored. Vinnie evenyually lost by 1 point.
Marc Bhundoo showed some great timing and countering techniques in his fight. He just needs to get more mat time in so that he can get the experince to secure a victory. He has the head for it, but needs confidence and drilling those techniques.
Vinnie then fought in the intermediate category and despite a good fight once more he had to accept defeat.
Kerry in the Ladies Novice section discovered her blitz. She had a larger opponent who had a good front leg. Kerry pushed her all the way, but wasn't able to secure a victory this time.
Spazzy in the novice ladies went one better and beat her first opponent. Good movement and timing was the key to winning here as wel as her trade mark side kick. In the second round Spazzy once more utilised he strengths, but here opponent had some good kicking techniques and eventually beat Spazzy.
Alex, novice ladies fight met a girl with a great hopping front leg. Alex found this difficult to deal with as she is usually the one dominating with the kicks. She moved around and traded kicks,looked for countes and fast attacks but it wasn't enough to win this one.
Kat was nursing a bad calf injury and couldn't attack or move very well at all. She decided to wait on her counter reverse punch and this proved successful with Kat pulling opponents and countering. Kat eventually reached the quarter finals,But her opponent scored the first point and the held back working against Kats weakness. Kat tried several attacks, but could not gain teh distance and had to settle for second.
In the intermediate category Charisse met an opponent that you would expect her to beat. She went 3 points ahead and was doing well. When I next looked at the score board it was 4 all and I couldn't see how this was possible. Charisse then began chasing the fighta nd got caught by a couple fo side kicks which lost her the bout. On looking at the video we could see that some points were put up on the wrong side which accounted for the scoring. Charisse reache dthe quarter finals.
Lucy then entered her section. She used her kicking to good effect, but needed to get her hands working off the kicks more . Lucy has shown real improvement and just needs one more thing to click for her to start on the winning spiral.
Debs made her appearance in the ladies intermediate section. Debs has not been training regularily for about a year, but as always she fights like she has never been away. Her kicks were strong and she hit her opponent with a lovely blitz. Debs worked hard, but she couldn't keep the scoring up and went out. Kat fought in this section also using her reverse punch and winning her first bout. Once again she was beaten in the next round by an opponent who moved around. Kat attempted an attackong blitz and it was immediately apparent that she was in pain. Spazzy also entered this section and performed well, but wasunable to get the victory. Alex met a very good Greek lady who eventually won the category. Once again Alex had to deal with a front leg and was uncomfortable. Eventually Alex decided to move in and block the leg then reverse counter punch. which scored. She repeated the move a couple of more times sucessfully, but could not pull the points back.
On the whole not a bad tournament for us considering the opponents. With just a few small tweaks we could have had several medalists today.
Everybody went back to the hotel after our last fight. Some went to te after party with it's music, dancing, drinking and limbo! others stayed in the Hotel bar and chilled.
Next year we will be back and hunting for those elusive medal places once again. I am certain that we will achieve better and even greater things then.
Well done to all the fighters and thanks to all the supporters.
Gribbs wins Continuous The BKO squad