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
Saturday and due to the fact that they had changed the running order this year, we had to get up at 7am and be at the venue by 9.30. We were all tired from yesterday's adventures. Today was the adults points fighting day. With all the senior categories taking place, there were lots of great fights to watch
Andy entered the senior mens section and the veterans. Not fighting on his best form, Andy was not helped by some bad refereeing, that meant he was chasing the fight all the time. Andy hit his opponent with perfectly good shots, bread and butter techniques that scored in every other tournament, but they were not registering with the refs. Andy was exasperated with and said, "What do I have to do to score"? It ws a dissapointment for him and the team.
Gribbs was up next in the senior mens U84kg section. During the first round Gribbs controled his opponent quite well and was ahead by a couple of points. The second round saw a similar scenario, but the other fighter managed to pull his points back.After extra time Gribbs lost by the single point.
I wasn't expecting great things for myself at this tournament as illness and injury had plagued me since the new year. I entered the mens under 89kg section and lost to the eventual finalist. I then compounded my failure by losing in the 1st round of the veterans to someone I should really have beaten. You have to take the ups with the downs in this game. It is hard to be on top form even 50% of the time. You just have to chalk it up to experience and move on.
Next up was George. Who had only arrived that morning and had slept on the floor at Heathrow for four hours before his flight. In his first section George lost to the guy who beat me in the U89kg. He then fought in the U75kg section where he met a Kiraly team fighter. He was narrowly ahead after the first round. In the second round the fighter changed tactics and hit George with a couple of 1 beat strikes. George adapted and then chased the fight to try and level, but time ran out and he lost by a point.
It was looking like the late night and travelling was going to take it's toll on George. He then entered the U75kg section and began to get into his stride. He dominated fight after fight, using his movement and sharp hands to control and dispatch his opponents. Germans, Italians, GB and Irish fighters. George fought through 18 rounds of top quality fighting today and eventually reached the final which would take place that evening.
We all piled into the hall where the finals were to take place in a flood lit arena. George was up 9th and we chilled for a while and then started the warm up routine. Georges Opponent was Dean Barry a top Irish fighter and world Champion who had beaten Raymond Daniels the previous day. As Georges name was called we had to go down a cat walk to the arena. George was confident and keen to get the fight under way. The first round saw the fight very even with Barry trying to push George back with his kicks and then strong blitz to score. George was Moving and evasive and stole points when Barry left himself open. The second round saw Barry up the level and push George back constantly. During the break and we decided to try and catch Barry as his leg drops after he kicks. It was a difficult task and Barry eventually edged in front. George said after that he realised he was not pushing his hands out, rather leading with his head,which left hi short on his counters. At the final bell Barry had won and George had silver.
The Irish Open is the premier tournament in the kickboxing calendar. Anyone who reaches the final is considered as one of the best fighters around. It was an awesome feat that George was here. His fighting was on top form and unorthodox. He dominated all his fights and when he lost in the final it was, as always in these top level matches, becuase of tiny details and strategies that swing the fight. This is by far the best result for BKO and for George and it is only the beginning.
Tomorrow it was the turn of the lower grades to fight.
A MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS TO
RON PEPLOE, BKO FOUNDER AND INSTRUCTOR
FOR WINNING GOLD IN MARIBOR NOV 2014 AND BECOMING
WAKO EUROPEAN KICKBOXING CHAMPION
WELL DONE FROM EVERYBODY AT BKO AND BEYOND. AN INSPIRATION AND A TRUE CHAMPION.
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