Watford Open 2017

Watford Open 2017

By Paul.

The BKO team headed off to St. Albans to take on the best from Britain and Europe!
Emily Evans took silver in her beginners’ category after a very close fought final, coming from behind twice. Considering this is only Emily’s second competition and her first major tournament, any nerves soon disappeared as soon as the fight started and Emily showed no fear in closing in on her opponent and finding her blitz. 
Next up was big sister Charlotte Evans in the intermediate section sporting a very fluffy hat with pink bobble. (She didn't fight in it). Despite not being BKO official kit, Charlotte used her excellent kicking ability and blitz to battle through her category filled with some very tricky and experienced fighters to also take a silver medal. 
Really looking forward to seeing Emily and Charlotte fight more and more over the coming season and developing their mat skills!
The Browns competed in both the intermediate and advanced sections, with Maggie reaching the quarter finals in both of her sections. Despite losing out early on in the advance category, Robbie and Rossi came back strong in the intermediates section, with Rossi reaching the quarter finals and having a very tactical bout with a strong and experienced opponent. Robbie kicked and backfisted his way to a bronze after some very close fights with just 1 and 2 points making the difference in each. 
Jamie Adams fought in the beginners’ boys, in only his second ever competition and first major competition. Jamie did not let the occasion get the better of him and came out strong, winning his first fight with well timed Reverse punches and making it to the quarter finals, just missing out on a medal in another very competitive and tight category.
Killian and Anais fought superbly in all of their fights respectively. Killian kept his cool, even when he was made to wait for his final and received some harsh decisions. He lost out in extra time and took silver. Big sister Anais had some very tough opposition in her category, but showed her development as a fighter with side kick and backfist combinations to power through and take gold.
Then it was the turn of the adults, who despite being more of a challenge to organise than the kids squad, dug in deep and achieved some fantastic results.
Kat Dhillon made her long overdue return to tournament fighting and along with Michelle Reese fought in both the intermediate and advance lady’s categories. Both ladies made the quarter finals in the advance section with Michelle taking a bronze in the intermediates with Kat taking silver.
Ben Ralph made his major tournament debut in a very tough beginners’ category and went on to take a bronze, using some excellently timed reverse blitzing. Ben fought well in the semi final and was pulling back the points when he ran out of time which meant he narrowly missed out on silver. Nicole Langley also fought in the beginners against opponents twice her size. She was unfazed and kept driving her punches in, eventually coming away with a bronze medal, While Shannon Feighery fought hard and also took bronze and a bloody nose in the lady’s intermediates section.
Vinnie Turner returned to tournament fighting after several months break from training but it was like he had never been away as he began in the intermediate section by taking a bronze. Then he joined Andy Evans in the in the veterans’ section, however the chaps didn’t let the creaking of old bones and smell of Deep Heat distract them with Andy reaching the quarter finals and Vinnie taking another bronze.
BKO’s final fighter of the day was Curtis Sharkey who fought in both points and continuous, with both categories kicking off simultaneously. This meant that following a very tough and hard fought points category in which he won silver, Curtis had to immediately fight in the continuous section and despite some extremely tough opposition, and following a wonderful front kick to his opponents face, he pushed himself through to take the Gold medal!
Thanks to all that came to support and a massive thanks to Ron for coaching and covering several miles in a day, running backwards and forwards between mats. Another fantastic outing for BKO, showing what we can do on the big stage, with everyone digging deep and achieving great things.

Next week is the Hands down tournament at Chessington 5th Feb. Those going need to let Ron know so he can pre-register you by Wednesday.

Paul C.


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Watford Open

Great day out at the Won yesterday coaching over 30 of our fighters and being run ragged from one mat to another. The atmosphere was amazing with some of the highest quality fighting. Well done to all the fighters and supporters for being there. Thanks to Michelle who also ran around the mats coaching and organising. As did Gribbs and many other BKO fighters who were coaching, advising and supporting. Great team work. Well done Kerry who made all the food (and ate most of it)! Thanks to All the parents who gave up their Sunday to bring their little fighters along.
Laynar 1st. Abi 2nd, Ciel 3rd, Charlotte 3rd, George 2nd, 3rd Teams, Vin 2nd, Curtis 1st, 2nd continuous, Andy 3rd, Kat 2nd, Mitch 3rd, Alex 3rd, 2nd, Steve 3rd. Killian 1st, 3rd. Anais 1st, 1st. (apologies if I missed someone, I had to cover 50 fights. Just let me know and I will amend)!
Getting places are great of course, but perfomance and attitude is the key to longevity in this sport and so many people raised their game today.
Chloe fought in quite a difficult section as it was open grade and took some hard kicks, but did not give up and fought her best to the end.
Abi demonstrated her understanding of controlling kicks in her fight and was unlucky not to win the semi final. Laynar also showed this skill and it paid off for her as she won the section.
Robbie had a very close bout with someone who 6 months ago beat him 8-0. Losing by just a couple of points.
Charlotte was nervous about being in with black belts, but demonstrated a cool head by winning through to the semi final.
Adam also had to dig deep and show his character as well winning his first bout.
Curtis returned after a several months away and showed his natural ability by winning and placing 2nd in continuous.
Steve Moore at 59 took on world champions and young fighters in both points and light con getting a 3rd place
Richard had a great first tournament putting into practice what he has learn. 
Liz still produced the goods despite having an abcess in her Jaw. Cannonball as usual pummeled away at Giants
John showed great spirit and skill as he fought the guy who he lost to in the fight night. Scoring head kicks and some great punches. The refs eventually gave it to the other guy, But I thought it was a draw at full time.
AShley also demonstrated what a great continuous fighter he is and was unlucky with that final decision.
George is going from strength to strength, Keen to fight everyone and getting great results. The final against Tamas was awesome. Two class fighters playing chess. What more do you want.
Just some of the notable things that happened yesterday and the season has only just started. There will be other victories and losses but we will reach the end of this year Much improved and wiser for it.
That's it for Watford this year then! Next week we are at the Hands down tournament at Chessington. ‪#‎GOBKO‬.

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