On 15th May BKO travelled to Amsterdam to compete in the Dutch open. A major tournament that attracts the best competitors from Europe.
After driving fro 8 hours. The team went straight to the venue as there was not time to book into the hotel before the tag team fighting.
George Peploe entered the Men's open weight grand champion section and had a tough fight against Roland Veres from Hungary. George was suffering from fatigue due to the travelling and narrowly lost his bout. The same happened in the tag team. Where BKO lost to a team that they should have beaten.
The following day and after a good nights sleep the team was raring to go.
First up was Kerry Anderson who fought in the ladies novice section. At first she battled her way to a third place, But there was a mix up and two fighters had not been entered correctly. This resulted in Kerry losing her third place trophy and having to settle for 4th.
Stephen Gribben fought in several sections and showed good skills throughout, but couldn't quite make the final placings finishing 4th in the men's senior u79kg
George Peploe fought in three sections reaching the quarter finals in two (where he knocked one opponent out with a spinning kick to the head) and the semi finals in the men's U84kg section where he met a very experienced and talented German Fighter. Over the two rounds the fight was very close. With 5 seconds to go George was trailing by 1 point. He launched a round kick which caught his opponent in the face. Scoring 2 points this would have won the bout for George, but the referees didn't see it! This gave the bout to his opponent. Afterwards he admitted that the kick had hit him, but he wasn't going to say anything to the refs. George earned himself a bronze medal in this section.
Lucy Weller fought in the Ladies novice section and put in a great performance, but was beaten into 3rd place by one point.
Andy Partridge fought in the men's open weight and in the first round met Roman Brundle. One of the worlds best fighters with many titles and constantly in the placings of international tournaments. Andy threw himself into the fight and had to cope with Brundle's huge left kick which is constantly pumping at you. Andy moved and twisted to get round the kick, which he did successfully on a couple of occasions. Unfortunately this time he couldn't make enough points tell and he lost the bout. But a valiant effort and lessons learnt for the next time these two meet.
On Sunday. We took a squad to the Birmiingham Kwon tournament. It is a league running over 3 tournaments and BKO fighters have points in the league from the previous tournament.
George Peploe 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 Dhillon fought in the Ladies Novice section. Still carrying a calf injury that restricts her movement and blitzing she managed to power 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 Turner entered the mens Novice section and dominated with his long kicks and right hand, Vinnie won gold. He then entered the Intermediate section and was pipped in the final into second place. Vinnie was meant to enter 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.
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.