The Kiraly summer camp took place in Csongrad Hungary from 2nd to 10 August 2014. Consisting of 5 hours of training and fighting daily with the world renowned Kiraly team and analysis from it's founder Istvan Kiraly.
In attendance were over 140 fighters from 19 countries ranging from Poland to Costa Rica. Fighters were split into groups of about 12 and then rotated around several stations covering Conditioning, Defence, Blitzing, Kicking and Analysis. These stations were run by each of the Kiraly team fighters.
Each day began at 7.30 with either a 5km run or an hour of aerobics. Because of my knee problems which prevent me from running I had to attend the Aerobics class each day. This proved to be a hard option as the level of aerobics was very high with Gabriella performing impossible abs and leg workouts and smiling all the way through and blowing her whistle while 140 kickboxers collapsed around her!!
We followed this session with a heart breakfast of Scrambled eggs mixed with bacon etc. There were essentially two classes. Women/youths and Mens and they would alternat the training times. The morning session was 1.5 hours from either 10.30 or 12.00 and covered the stations mentioned above, with drills, games and sparring involved.
Following this was Lunch, mainly some tasty chicken, rice or pasta and lots of Watermelon! Then a coach was laid on to take us to the spa in Csongrad where you could use the hot and cold baths or, my favourite, the warm thermal pool in the park. We would spend an hour and a half here trying to get our muscles back into shape for the next training session.
This was once again split into two times. Either 4.30-6.30 or 6.30-8.30pm alternating daily. This session was the main sparring and technical session and was taken by Istvan Kiraly. We concentrated on various strategies and practices and sparred with all comers including all the Kiraly fighters and world champions.
In the evening was dinner and then free time. Most went to the bar and spa in Csongrad to relax and ease aching muscles ready for the next days efforts.
After the 3rd day of traing was a rest day. Some people visited a nearby town and water park, others just rested in their rooms or at the spa. Then in the evening after dinner Lazslo Gombos showed his vocal talents performing a concert with his band. Debs and me were flattered to be asked to do a couple of numbers as a warm up. The evening was fun, relaxed and sober in comparison to the night before which saw most people letting their hair down at the bar and quite a party developing with vodka, Unicom and Palinka consumed as well as beer in sizeable quantities!
Thursday it was back to the daily training again with most people recovering energy after the day off. On Friday evening the classes were joined for a 3 hour sparring session with everyone and tuition, insight and analysis from Istvan. In the evening we went to the bar and had a very chilled marshmallow toasting evening.
Saturday was the Kiraly tournament day. All fighters were put into groups of 6 and then fought round robin with the winners going through to the quarter finals which took place later in the day.
Saturday night saw the final party and buffet with everyone letting heir hair down and once again the dreaded Vodka, palinka and Unicom emerged.
This was an amazing week of training and cooperation with martial artists from all over the world. We learnt so much form Istvan and all the Kiraly team and were always made to feel welcome. Friends were made and contacts forged with people from many different countries. We trained together, ate together, fought together and drunk together in a true spirit of co-operation. Mainly we learnt about ourselves. There were times when my body ached so much that I was sure I could not get up out of bed let alone throw punches and kicks, and still you put your gloves on and go training again for another couple of hours and afterwards you feel great! You realise that there is more in you than you think and that the biggest barrier to improvement is your mind.
I would like to thank Istvan, Laszlo, Zsolt, Tamas, Richie, Alex, Krystian, Henrietta, Vicky, Daniel, Gabriella and all the others too numerous to mention, (but just as important) who gave their expertise, assistance and advice and made this such a memorable week.
We took a large formidable squad to the Chessington Round Robin tournament on Sunday.
atmosphere at this one with natural light from the plastic roof, but it does get hot when the sun is out.
Unusually for a competition, the first up are the Senior divisions.
George entered this one before most people got there and lost by one point to the eventual winner. He then dominated the continuous section and beat both fighters in the 3 way final. The he was asked to fight one of the fighters again in another final!!! The fighter had a bad back and stopped the fight on a couple of occasions to receive treatment. George took his foot off the gas, but still dominated the fight. Despite this George lost the fight on a split descision and everyone was perplexed at this outcome and assume he got a sympathy vote?? George has now learnt the lesson that you take no prisoners on the mat and this situation will not happen again.
Mark was up next in the continuous section. In the final over 2 rounds, Mark met a heavy hitting opponent who looked to get the better hits in the first round. The second round saw Mark Lifting his knee and blocking kicks. Then a right from Mark floored his opponent. Following this Mark dominated the fight more and eventually won when his opponent had to retire due to an injured shoulder.
Rossi took to that mats in the Kids section and hit his opponent with some well timed side kicks. After 3 wins Rossi narrowly lost and had to be content with a 4th place.
Robbie too showed his skill with his side kick and blitzing in the kids section. But had the same result as Rossi 4th place.
Kat Powered her way through the ladies novice section with her accurate reverse punching and backfist beating all comers to arrive at the 3 way final. She dominated this as well and gained a well desrved 1st place.
Entering the intermediate section Kat still showed her power, but had to settle for a 3rd place.
Then she entered the Senior (Black belt) Continuous section and fought like a Tiger against more experienced and advanced girls. Kat came in in 3rd place but showed her srenght and power and only lost by a narrow margin.
Michelle had a bad day at the office today. Felling unwell and falling asleep at the tournament, she was up against it and despite some flashes of brilliance, She was unable to reach the final in the novice section and got 4th place. Michelle still had her warrior head on and entered the Intermediate section but her energy levels were low. She did however gain a 3rd place in this section. She then called it a day and pulled out of the continuous fighting.
Kerry put her speed and attacking style to good use by winning 3 fights in a row in the ladies Novice. Discovering her kicking ability, she pushed her opponents back before finishing them off with her hands. She had to settle for 4th place overall after losing to an in form Kat
Alex won her first fights in a tournament and was so pleased. Her kicking is deadly when she uses it to attack and in one fight she scored 3 head kicks. Alex stepped up the urgency in her fighting and this payed off giving her a 4th place.
Helen's first ever tournament showed that she had no fear. She went for her opponents with aggression and was only beaten by slightly quicker reverse punches. Helen came 4th
Vinnie's height and reach are beginning to tell as he gains confidence and learns how to impliment his strengths. Lunging reverse punches by Vinnie stood him in good stead and his pressurising of his opponents was excellent. Vinnie came 3rd in the mens novice section.
Marc saw his first wins in a tournament also. He has been developing his kicking in the open mat sessions and this has given him more variety in his fighting. Marc had to retire early however due to cracked ribs. He gained a 5th place overall.
John John. Went into his first ever tournament with confidence. In the 2 round final his reverse punch found it's mark and in the 1st round he was 6-2 up. The secnd round saw John flagging and he had to steel himself and fight both fatigue and a determined opponent. John won by taking the bout in the final second securing a 1st place.
On the whole a great day for BKO. The development of every fighter was shown and in such a short time as well. Apart from George, None of the adult fighters have been training for a year yet! and John John has only just finished the Beginners course! This is the level of training and dedication at BKO, we are building into an excellent team. Well done all!
Sunday 6th July saw BKO take a small squad to the Cimac world cup in Birmingham. The day started with the loss of a couple of members of the team due to an exhausting Saturday night. However the rest of us were keen to compete.
First up was Shannon Feighrey who was leading the Superleague table in the Ladies Novice section. She was also suffering from Saturday "Fatigue" but showed some great blitzing and timing skills to defeat her first opponent. In the Semi final it was clear that Shannon was Flagging and her work rate and energy levels dropped, resulting in a loss this time, but she still remains top of the league.
Next up. Andy Partridge in the intermediate section. Andy's movement and exploseive speed saw him score and evade his opponent well. Nearing the end of the fight Andy ran around the lead ref and was deemed to have turned his back and evaded. The refs took a point from him (Andy had received no prior warning) and the bout went to extra time. Andy redoubled his efforts and beat his opponent convincingly. Semi finals saw Andy once again dominating. A beautiful Jumping backfist to the head over his opponents side kick was unseen by the refs?? With 10 seconds to go Any's opponent raised an axe kick delaying it sufficiently to catch Andy on the head as he moved. This brought the fight level and this time Andy was unable to produce the win, so he had to settle for 3rd.
In the Mens seniors. Andy is entering the Black belt section in order to gain experience for the future.(He is a purple belt) had a very good fight with mark McDermott, who is a very sharp and clever fighter. Andy scored with some nice points and a couple of clean reverse punches that were not given, but did not proceed any further at this time, despite this being his best fight of the day.
Michelle Rees entered herself in the wrong section. The ladies light contact continuous, instead of the ladie Novice points. Despite this Michelle decided to give this section a go and had a hard fight with a previous winner of the section. Michelle pushed forward all the time constantly punching and kicking her opponent who scored some clean shots. Near the end of the bout michelle forced her opponent off the mat a couple of times, But narrowly lost the judges decision and had to settle for silver.
There are still a couple of super league tournaments left for the year, So it is possible to secure points in the league. I feel however that this is less important than the experince gained and the development of fighting skills that a competition gives. I know you can only fight the people who turn up, but when there are only one or two fighters in your section, it is an empty victory to claim points when all you have done that day is lose a fight! Far better to asses the performance that each fight brings and seek consistent development and improvement.
Sunday 1st of june saw BKO take a squad to the Southern area championships in Chessington.
A nice freindly tournament and a good venue. The fighting took place in the atrium of a college with an inflatable transparent plastic roof. So no sitting under flourescent lights all day, however it did get warm when the sun was out
The first section was the Ladies novices. This was won by Kat who demonstrated her power in the final beatiing Michelle with some hard punches. Michelle closed kat down and scored some good reverse punches, but was edged out in the second round. Kerry met Alex (Mother and daughter ) in the 3rd/4th place fight off. Kerry has been developing a strong attacking style recently. Coming forward at every opportunity and Alex has already show her kicking prowess. This time however Alex found it hard to push the fight and the bout went to Mum! Kerry. So it was 1st,2nd,3rd,4th for BKO.
Next up was George, entering 3 sections in preparation for his full contact fight next week. The first was a continuous section and George powered his way through to 1st place with some great movement and fast punching. In the second heavier continuous section. George unleashed a ferocious spinning kick to the head that rocked his opponent and caused a standing count. In the semi finals George met a far heavier opponent and had a battle to dominate. The fight was a draw, so an extra minute was fought. George sttacked immediately and drove his opponent back. He then received a blow to the nose which caused bleeding. Although it did not stop George, I feel that this influenced the judges who gave the fight to the opponent 2 to 1. George then won the 3rd place fight off. He fought 12 2 min rounds of contionuous up to that point and decided to pull out of the points section.
Gribbs was up next and fough a rangy opponent in the semi finals. Gribbs used his timing well and was causing the other fighter problems by pushing his side kick down and countering. His opponent had to be more considerate with his attack and was completely taken by surprise when Gribbs launched a blitz at him. The fight went to extra time and after a couple of dubious descisions Gribbs lost and had to be content with 3rd place.
Ron took to the mat next in the veterans section Final. After 30 seconds and 3 points to 2 up. Ron's opponent slipped on the edge of the mat and injured his knee giving away 1st place to Ron.
By Paul Corio
BKO made a fantastic start to the 2014 CIMAC Superleague season at Windsor on March 16th, showing up in force, fielding an array of kids and adults from beginners to intermediate and advanced fighters, many making their competitive debuts.
First up on the day was the kid’s class represented by Hayden Corby, Ryan O’Grady and Emily O’Grady. Hayden and Ryan having fought so well in Dublin come into the their fights looking as sharp as ever, with Ryan just losing out on a place and Hayden securing 3rd place in his category. Emily also managed to secure 3rd place in her category after a close fight off against a very good opponent. The dedication and commitment to their training Ryan, Emily and Hayden have shown has really paid off and as a result all three already look serious contenders to place in the Superleague this year.
Next up was the adults with Vinnie Turner, Kat Dhillon, Shannon Feighery and Steve Enduro making their Superleague points fighting debuts in the Novices section. Vinnie started positively putting his opponent under pressure and despite the eventual loss, showed great promise for future tournaments.
Despite a cagey start, Kat got the measure of her opponent and finished strong to take the final points and despite the loss made a very good debut.
Shannon showed her grit and determination, pressuring her opponent well throughout her fight, however eventually just lost out.
Steve went on to the 3rd place BKO fight off with Dave Elsworthy and after a very close fight, just nudged the points to take the win.
Craig Ashford came away the big winner on the day showing an amazing display of focus and skill to win the Men’s Novice category.
Heather Chilcott, John Kiy and Steve Gribbins all competed in the continuous divisions which were extremely hard fought and competitive. Both Steve and John went out in the first round, with Heather winning her division and taking home the big gold medal.
Next Up came the Intermediate section with Andy Partridge, Rob Rivers and Paul Corio stepping up; with Paul losing out in the first round, Rob going on to take 4th and Andy coming 3rd overall.
Heather Chilcott stepped back onto the mat again for her points round as did Debs Peploe, both missing out on the second round.
George Peploe came second in the open weight category with Ron Peploe and Steve O’Grady placing first and second respectively in the Executive Men’s Category.
All in all it was a fantastic day for BKO with lots of fighters across the divisions, all gaining valuable experience and seeing the fruits of all of their hard work and training pay off. Thanks also to all of those that came down to show your support for the fighters.
It is this support of each other that makes BKO such a successful club and an absolute joy to be a part of. There are still lots more competitions train for this year, so looking forward to seeing everyone back on the mat at club! #GoBKO
Friday 28th February saw 17 of us jet off to the city of Dublin to compete in the 2014 Irish Open. For anyone not familiar, the Irish Open is the biggest and best kickboxing tournament on the global calendar and where the elite of our great sport come to compete every year. This year there were over 3500 fighters doing battle with each other across 3 days, watched by nearly 2000 spectators.
Over the course of Saturday and Sunday we represented the club, fighting across many different divisions, some of us making our international debuts including Hayden Corby and Ryan O’Grady from the Kids class.
On Saturday Steve Gribbins and Heather Chilcott competed in their continuous matches and fought with a lot of intensity in two tough match ups, just losing out on the win. The day also saw our senior men Ron Peploe, George Peploe and Steve O’Grady fight points with Ron using his experience to ease through into the second round where he lost out on the final point in slightly controversial circumstances. George unfortunately suffered a broken nose just seconds into his fight with a leggy opponent and was unable to continue which was tremendously disappointing considering his recent comeback from serious injury (although it made for a great war wound and video for the Facebook page!). Steve was unable to find his usual crackerjack timing and was bested on the day to go also out in the first round.
On Sunday Ryan and Hayden stepped up to represent the kids and fought their hearts out, just narrowly losing to more experienced competition. Both lads put on a great show and made us all very proud (especially their Dads!) demonstrating just how hard they both trained for the event and took their fighting to new dimensions as a result. Watch out for these future superstars in the years to come!
Heather stepped back onto the matt for her points fight, along with Philippa Peploe, Charisse Peploe, Debs Peploe and Kiri White all representing the BKO ladies. Particular nods go to Charisse and Kiri, who despite just losing out showed just how hard they have been training and gave both of their opposition tough fights.
Later that day Andy Partridge and Paul Corio fought in the Intermediate men’s -80kg and +80kg divisions respectively. Andy showed off his classy style and speed, very narrowly losing out to a fighter he will definitely come back and beat next year. Next up was Paul who despite a cagey start and a tough scrap (and several falls off the matt!) came back from behind to nudge the win by a point, going out in the second round losing out to a more experienced fighter.
During this time, we also took the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere, rub shoulders with world champions and watch the best of the best close up and take away some moves we can add to our own fighting styles. The experience was invaluable to us all and every single BKO fighter raised their skills to new levels to compete well and represent our little club from Basingstoke with pride on the world stage. We also managed to squeeze in a few pints of Guinness!
There are lots of tournaments coming up throughout the rest of the year and it would be great to see more representation of BKO from our men, women and kids, from novices to the more advanced fighters. If you don’t feel like fighting or just want to see what it’s like and show your support, that would be fantastic too. We will keep you updated in club and on the Facebook page for future events.
Just before Christmas the Black and Brown belt gradings took place. Dan Kipping and Tom Wilson gained their black belts and Robert Rivers and Rhys Clarke their Brown Belts.
All four candidates had been specifically training for six weeks prior to their grading which took place over two days. All had to successfully perform basic and advanced techniques, many defensive disciplines.
18 rounds of bagwork and 18 rounds of sparring including ponts, continuous and full contact. It was very hard work, testing all aspects of kickboxing and each performed to their best ability.
Well done and congratulations to you all.
BKO Review of 2013 By Paul Corio
2013 has been a very successful year for BKO and its members. Here are some of the highlights…
January kicked off 2013 in awesome style for BKO as in Ron Peploe was crowned the British WAKO champion.
BKO attended the biggest international event of the kickboxing calendar in February at the Irish Open with Ron Peploe, Deb Peploe, Charisse Peploe, Philippa Peploe, George Peploe (yes, lots of Peploes) and Heather Chilcott all competing and putting in some impressive performances both on the mat and in the pub drinking Guinness.
In April Craig Ashford, George Peploe and Steve O’Grady took on the challenge of Tough Mudder, a 10 mile assault course which includes fire, ice and even electrocution among a course of obstacles designed by Special Forces soldiers. The boys stuck together and got around in a very respectable 4 hours.
In May the WAKO British Squad came calling at BKO inviting Ron and George Peploe into the training squad for the 2013 European Championships in Greece and the World Championships in Brazil. Although Ron and George didn’t make it to the final squad, we suspect they will get further invitations in 2014.
July saw the Green and Purple belt gradings take place with some fantastic personal displays of great fighting, grit and determination. This was on one of the hottest days of the year with temperatures on the mat reaching in excess of 95 degrees and gradings taking just over 3.5 hours to complete. Needless to say it was challenging, exhausting, sometimes painful and emotional, however everyone showed tremendous character to come away with their belts.
In October and November BKO welcomed 2 classes of beginners who braved a six week course of training, culminating in their achieving their red belts. It’s great to see so many new faces at the club training and working hard, well done to all who stuck at it!
The 8th November saw 2000 Spartan Warriors descend on Pippingford Park in West Sussex for the Reebok Spartan Race Beast, including BKO’s Craig Ashford, Stu Roshier and Michael Skeats. The Spartan Race Beast is the grand finale of the obstacle racing season attracting competitors from all over the UK and Europe and comprises a 11+ mile muddy trek through countryside tracks, up hills, through lakes, mud holes and several obstacles such as monkey bars, the ice pit, fire jump, Hercules lift and a 20m rope climb before being battered with pugil sticks while crossing the finishing line. Despite the added challenge of torrential rain and an average temperature of 9 degrees made worse by a biting southern wind which saw many competitors succumb to hyperthermia, the lads got round the course in just over 4 and a half hours each. There was even some time on the way round to bust out some dance moves and throw in a couple of spin kicks. If BKO had been around in 400BC, I don’t think the Persians would have stood a chance!
November also saw the final CIMAC Superleague of the season with Steve O’Grady being named Grand Champion in the Executive Category after 7 tournaments throughout the year. Ron Peploe also placed in the same category. Also placing well overall were heather Chilcott in the Novice Ladies section, George Peploe in the Senior Men Under 75kg section and Andy Partridge in the Intermediate Men Over 75kg Section.
Fight Night on 7th November in Andover saw Steve O’Grady, Heather Chilcott and Nev Norval representing BKO. Just to set the scene, this is different to normal club and tournament fighting as it takes place at a rival club, on their mat, in front of a large crowd and can be a daunting challenge. This was Nev’s first ever tournament and after a cagey start, overcame his nerves, found his blitz and broke down his opponent beautifully to come away with the win. Heather too overcame her nerves early on to put in a cool and measured performance, again coming away with the win. Steve had a very tough fight with an experienced opponent, which was exciting and at times emotional with both fighters digging deep and giving their all. Unfortunately Steve just lost out on points, however is guaranteed to come back stronger than ever for his next fight.
On 13th December BKO invaded the Skewers pub for our Christmas meal and a cracking night of Caribbean food, a few drinks (just a few) and awards given out; the highlights included Heather Chilcott winning ‘fighter of the year’, Andy Partridge winning ‘student of the year’ and Jamie Smyth winning the much sought after ‘injury of the year’ award. I’m also told that a few of our more insane members braved their hangovers and went to Steve’s Saturday class the next morning…nutters!
Ending the year on a high was Tom Wilson and Dan Kipping who after 2 nights of demonstrating attack and defence techniques and 19 rounds of fighting, including 2 rounds of full contact fighting achieved their black belts. This is a fantastic and hard earned achievement which is the culmination of many years training and ultimately what we are all aiming for as kick boxers. Rob Rivers and Rhys Clarke also achieved their brown belts.
A special mention must also go to the BKO kids class who have also worked exceptionally hard, attending many tournaments and coming away with a bumper haul of trophies this year. If you’ve ever seen any of the kids in action you will know the class is producing an amazing sqaud of young fighters, many of whom could easily give the adults a run for their money and some will no doubt be training with us adults very soon.
All in all 2013 has been a great year for BKO and everyone involved in the club. They key to why BKO is such a strong club is its people. It doesn’t matter if you’re winning tournaments, achieving gradings or starting out, everybody contributes something unique to the team, which means 2014 looks set to be another great year which everybody should be looking forward to. We have lots of tournaments including the Irish Open in February, Superleague starting again in March, more beginners classes, plus lots of gradings coming up throughout the year to train hard for.
Keep checking the BKO Facebook page and here on the website for regular updates, or make sure you turn up regularly for class!
Here’s hoping everyone had a great Christmas and has a Happy New Year…See you in all January!