We left at 4am on Friday morning for the Irish open in Dublin, bleary eyed and hungry. The largest and most prestigiuos tournament in the world with 4000 competitors from across the globe. On arrival at Dublin we got the hire cars and headed to the North Star Hotel where we settled in and awaited the rest of the team.
This year there would be continuous sparring on the Friday night after the weigh in so we had to arrive about 6pm. The weigh in was the usual long drawn out affair, but with several of the team helping out, we got everything sorted and prepared to support Jeppo, Gribbs and Jamie in their bouts.
Up first was Jamie, fighting in only his second tournament, met a vary experienced fighter who had powerful kicks and caught Jamie on a couple of occasions to the head. The refs pulled Jamies opponent to one side and disqualified him for the beginners section as he was clearly far more advanced a fighter. Over the past year we have seen this quite a lot with fighters entering lower ranked sections. It's good to see refferees and judges taking steps to stop this practice by removing them and moving them to higher categories where they belong. Jamie went through to the second round and had a much better fight. He pressed the fight all the way and wore his opponent down, pushing him out on several occasions. Jamie's accuracy with his punches wasn't at it's best however and his opponent managed to score more shots over the two rounds leaving Jamie in second place. A great effort though and something to work on back at the club.
Gribbs was up neaxt and met an opponent who came forward alot and used hook punches. Gribbs kept his distance and used his timing, straight punches and points experience to score on his opponent. He controlled the fight well and ran out the eventual winner.
With the evening running on we were tld that Gribbs' next fight and Jeppo's would be on tomorrow.
We sat around for a while watching some excellent bouts in the team fighting. Notable was Dean Barry who beat Raymond Daniels in the Irish v Americans semi final. The US won by 2 points and went through.
It was getting late and the new timings meant we had to be up at 7 because the senior fighting would start at 9am so we headed back to the hotel and sat in the bar for a while then went to bed.
More to follow:
Chris Aston Seminar
On the 14/15th January we headed off to Solihull for the WAKO British Championships. The National annual tournament for WAKO which had many GB squad members, British, European and World champions in attendance. There were no beginners or intermediate fighting categories, so it was a high level event.
Saturday was the continuous/Light contact categories. Michelle competed in the ladies section and won her first bout well. In the final she met European champion Gaynor Morgan and despite Mitch's valiant efforts, Gaynor won the fight leaving Michelle in silver medal position.
This tournament also saw the return of Steve Moore to the continuous arena. Steve fought in the mens section and met Mark watton in the final. It was a close run thing, but Mark managed to score more kicks and won the bout. Steve got the silver.
George also fought in the mens continuous. Despite the fact that he has not trained for continuous fighting thi syear he lost narrowly in the semi finals and gained a Bronze medal.
The points tournament took place on Sunday and was well attended this year with lots of junior and youth fighters. With each bout taking place over 2x2mins round it meant that the fighting ran well into the evening and the adult sections did not start till 9pm
There were plenty of great fights to see however First up were the ladies categories. Michelle and Kat were fighting in this one.
Kat had a bye in her first fight and then won successive fights convincingly to reach the final. Michelle also had a good win and reached the semi final where she once more met European champion Gaynor Morgan. This proved a much tougher affair and despite giving everything, Michelle lost the bout and had to settle for a Bronze medal. Kat then met Gaynor in the final where her experience once again showed and she beat Kat into silver medal position. Kat also entered the womens veteran section and was keen to get her bout underway but her opponent pulled out giving Kat the British Championship by default!
Vinnie Turner entered both the Mens veterans under 94 kg and over 94 kg. Vinnie has been making great progress in these categories lately with his long and awkward style proving difficult for his opponents. He used his reach to good effect in the Under 94kg winning through to a Bronze medal position. In the over 94kg Vinnie made it to the final which was a very close affair and was only decided in the last 20 seconds of the 2 round bout as His opponent edged vinnie into silver meal position.
Stephen Gribben entered two categories and has been fighting and timing his opponents well lately. After a minute of the first round it was clear there was something wrong as Steve was unusually showing signs of fatigue. Possible virus. He wasn't moving his legs and even though he was reacting and countering he found it hard work to press the fight. Steve lost his bout and had to immediately move on to the next section where, without any recuperation time, he suffered the same fate.
George fought next in the mens sections reaching the semi final, George had dominated his opponents with fast counters and inspired footwork. He met Top Ten Fighter Tom Evans in the semi final and an awesome bout ensued. Both fighters were seeking openings using kicks and counters, fakes and movement. With seconds to go Evans caught George with a low side kick and won the bout leaving George with a Bronze medal.
Andy Partridge also fought in a couple of mens sections. He lost narrowly in the first group, but made it to the final of the second and was expecting to meet World Champion Thomas Banks. This did not come about as the semi final was won by Thomas' opponent. In the final Andy threw everything he had at his fighter and it was evenly matched. Near the end of the bout Andy needed a head kick to take it to extra time. He threw a hook kick which connected and then his opponent countered with a spinning kick. The Referees ignored Andy's head kick and scored the spinning kick. With seconds to go this put the bout beyond Andy's reach and he had to settle for silver.
On the whole it was a great day for BKO. The quality of fighting from all levels has improved vastly and the team spirit and mental attitude shows that we can achieve good results in major tournaments. Well done everyone.
Kat Dhillon. Gold, Silver
Michelle. Silver, Bronze
George. Bronze Bronze
Vinnie. Silver, Bronze
L to R. Andy Silver. George Bronze. Squad photo. BKO selfie
On February 1st we took the biggest squad ever to the Chessington interclub tournament. 30 fighters in total ranging from beginner kids to advanced black belts.
The Chessington tournament is run on a round robin basis and covers poits as well as continuous sparring. It isheldin the atrium of a university which has natural light which adds to the atmosphere and relaxed ambience of the tournament. The tournament kicks off with the advanced open weight sparring and then moves on to the kids sections.
With so many fighters entering different sections it would take too long to describe all the fights here. Notable fighters were Robbie Brown and Charlotte Adams who won their respective sections in the kids divisions. Also Andy Partridge came second in the open weight. Amy Lee siu had the fight of the day with a tenacious battle in the final of the beginners section fighting an opponent from the weight above. The fight went to extra time and eventually Amy lost 20 points to 19. An excellent effort for her first tournament. Another notable first was Dylan Crawte showing his lightning blitzes to win against a much larger opponent.
There were many notable fights, incidents throughout the day. BKO eventually came second in the overall club of the day tournament? The excitement and club involvement wore me out. Well done to everyone.
PS We all finished off having a traditional after tournament KFC
Andy P. 2nd place seniors. Robbie Brown 1st. Rossi Brown 4th. Charlie Baker 3rd. Harry Baker 4th. George Baker 4th. Harvey Butcher 2nd. Charlotte Evans 1st. Aimee Evans 3rd. Laynar Purser 2nd. Amy Lee Siu 2nd. Dylan Crawte 1st. Michelle 3rd intermediate. Kat 1st Intermediate, 3rd continuous. Alex 2nd. Tom 3rd. Ian 1st continuous. Curtis 1st. Graham 3rd. Jimmy 1st points, 2nd continuous. Mark (Cannonball) 3rd continuous. Lucy 4th. Spazzy 4th. Ron 3rd. Vinnie, Mark B and Kerry had to pull out through injury.
LtoR: Amy 2nd place. Robbie 1st place. Curtis 1st place. Charlotte 1st place.
Last week we took a squad to Watford Open National tournament. This is one of the largest and most prestigious tournaments to occur in the UK kickboxing calendar with fighters attending from several European countries including Hungary, Czech republic, Italy, Austria and Germany. Some of the fighting was the best in the world. Everywhere you looked there was an awesome battle going on. It was a long day though as we were still competing at 9.30pm. Winning or placing at this tournament is a great achievement given the standard at all levels/
Sunday Jan 11th saw the first tournament of the year for BKO. Travelling to Birmingham for the Kwon International competition. This was the first time we have been to this tournament and the standard was high.
Spazzy Fought really well and showed her improvement, but is still competing with only one arm working so she was unable to progress in the tournament.
Kat gained a well earned 2nd in beginners and a 2nd in the intermediate section where she met Team mate Charisse in the semi finals and managed to nudge her out in sudden death. Charisse came 3rd.
Vinnie came 2nd in the beginners and entered the Veterans section where everyone was a black belt. Vinnie met the European silver medalist in the semi finals and after kicking him in the face and spending most of the fight at 3 points each, Vinnie eventually lost 6-3 and had to settle for 4th place. But a great achievement for someone who has not been training for a year yet!
George Reached the final of the u79 seniors section and was in command throughout the fight but kept losing focus and letting his opponent back in. This meant the fight went to sudden death and George lost having to settle for 2nd place
What an excellent time was had yesterday when Ryan Marlow 7x world champion and 2x european champion came down to the club.
It was a Sunday morning 10am and most were bleary eyed and a bit quiet, but that soon changed when we began the Plyometric warm ups. Lots of jumping and hopping to strengthen the legs. Then mexican wave press ups, Sphynx press ups and other interesting exercises.
A short stretch followed and then on to the technical work which consisted of reducing your "Tels", one and two beat countering and punching, Managing kicks and defence work. The day finished with sparring and a team event. Ryan gave insight into his method of fighting which has made him sucessful, but stressed the fact that it wasn't a 'one fits all' approach. the emphasis was to take what you need and adapt to yopur own style.
Everyone was buzzing by the end of the two and a half hour session and, although tired, they were keen to put into practice all that they had learnt.
We then went to the pub for lunch Where they had a one off BKO menu for us. Now thats special!!!!