On the 8th and 9th March, Vision Taekwon-Do took a team to the PUMA World Championships in Swindon. All of the black belt competition was to take part on the Saturday with the colour belts competing on Sunday.
The day started off with the cadet patterns divisions and Vision had some strong performances with Josh Wadey winning the gold and Tom Davies getting the bronze. Staying with the cadet divisions things quickly moved on to the sparring. Tom Davies added to his patterns medal by winning the gold in the flyweight category. Next up was the lightweights and Josh Wadey got another gold with Jake Dutch winning bronze. In the heavyweight division Tim Lobley fought bravely in a category heavier than he is use to and got to the final. Unfortunately he had a potential broken nose and was unable to continue. He was awarded the silver. In the girls sparring Chorlene Biron-Monnier won a silver medal after some tough fights when different weight categories were mixed together.
Once the cadets were finished it was time for the adults and veterans. Making his competitive return after retiring from competition in 2008, Mr Lear won the gold in patterns performing Tong-Il, the 6th degree pattern that is rarely performed in competition. Once all the patterns were completed the sparring started and Mr Thompson fought some very tactical battles against bigger opponents making his way into the final. After a tough fight he came away with the silver medal. Then Katinka Blauw (also making her competitive return after 5 years) came away with a silver in sparring. Mr Lear then completed his double by winning his sparring category, which all the supporters seemed to enjoy watching. To finish off the individual performances Mr Edmunds won the breaking division gold with an impressive reverse turning kick that no one else could match. The final events of the day were the team patterns and team sparring. The Vision cadet patterns team (Tom Davies, Calvin Kong, Josh Wadey, Jake Dutch and Tim Lobley) performed brilliantly to take the gold. In the team sparring we had two Vision teams – both narrowly missing out on a gold medal. Veron Bradley, Calvin Kong and Jake Dutch got the silver and Tom Davies, Dan Lobley and Josh Wadey got the bronze. The day finished with an amazing 7 gold, 5 silvers and 5 bronzes.
On the Sunday it was time for the colour belts to try and match the black belts medals. In a similar format to the previous day the competition started with the junior and cadet patterns categories and it wasn’t long before we were winning some medals. In the massive junior red belt group George Rowe won the silver whilst Ayman Elhalwagy and William Shepperson won bronze. In the yellow, green and blue belt divisions we narrowly missed out on medals but that just spurred the team on for the sparring. Jake Rutherford got the first sparring medal of the day with the gold. This was quickly followed by silver medals for both Ellena Lobley and Amy Rowe and a bronze for Katie Moon. There was no let up in the bouts as the coaches ran from ring to ring. Next up was Thicome Biron-Monnier who fought brilliantly to clinch the gold. Lewis Brett and Joe Palmer did really well to get the silver and bronze respectively in another huge category. In the final junior category of the day Otis Waghorn and Ben Rutherford came so close to making it an all Vision final but eventually had to settle for the bronze each. The only colour belt cadet for Vision was Aaron Judah who came away with a silver in patterns and a silver in sparring, only just missing out on the gold.
The competition took a short break whilst some awards were given out by Master Gayle and Master Ogborne. It was a great honour for Vision’s Mr Lear to be awarded the Spirit of a Legend award for the way he competed and conducted himself throughout the weekend. Mr Lear said “I am overwhelmed and humbled by this generous award, it’s made even more important as it’s in memory of a very popular Master in PUMA who sadly passed away last year Master Black. I will cherish it forever”.
After a quick coffee top up the adults and veterans began. Martyn Rowe and Alan Soutar should have made it into the final of the Blue and Red Pattern event but made some errors right at the end both coming away with the bronze. Gavin Wallace got things started in the sparring with some tough battles and managed to win a silver medal. Then Mike Rutherford, spurred on by his kids and their already impressive medal collection secured the bronze in the Yellow and Green patterns. Not content with 3rd place he then went on to fight his way to gold in the yellow and green belt sparring. To finish off the day Alan Soutar and Martyn Rowe, who had been waiting all day finally got their chance in sparring. Alan did well to get to the semi final but could not force his way into the final and had to be content with the bronze. Martyn started the final well but had to settle for silver in the end.
It was a great weekend and we would like to thanks PUMA for inviting us to their competition. Many thanks to Mr Steve Bourne for refereeing all weekend and to Mr Lear, Mr Dunn, Mr Thompson and Mr Edmunds for coaching and to the junior black belts Mr Lobley and Mr Kong who helped to coach on Sunday.
The final medal count is
- 10 Gold
- 13 Silver
- 15 Bronze