Sparring seminar with Mr Ernest

15064296717_839204f342_oOn the 13th September VTA hosted it’s annual guest seminar. This year we were honoured to have former World, European and King of Taekwon-Do champion Mr Neil Ernest running things. Mr Ernest won the World Championship middle weight title in 2003, the European title in 2006, 2004 and 1993 (junior) and the King of Taekwon-Do title in 2001. Mr Ernest has also been the coach of Wales and coached many other European and World Champions.

ernest kickThe day was split into 3 sessions Р the first was for 12 years and under and was great fun. Mr Ernest had them running around, playing crazy tag games to get warmed up and then lots of sparring drills. They did lots of work on the kickshields and then had some fun races at the end.

The second group were for 13 years and above, up to red tag. This was the smallest group which meant that they all got lots of time with Mr Ernest. In fact it was a two hour session and they all finished absolutely drenched in sweat and buzzing. There was lots of sparring and footwork exercises and then some tough kicking drills on the kickshields at the end. Those who could still speak at the end said how much they enjoyed it.

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The last session was for the red belts and above. This was a tough 3 hour session with several national team members there preparing for the selection competition coming up. There was little time for a warm up as everyone put their gloves on and got going with the sparring drills pretty quickly. But time seemed to fly by and before anyone realised it they were finishing off the leg exercises on the kickshields. Despite a lot of foot skin being left on the floor and a haze of sweat in the hall everyone enjoyed it. Many people commented afterwards how accessible Mr Ernest was and scaled the drills appropriately.


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It was great to see so many students coming and especially from other associations in England. We hope to see you all at the next VTA guest seminar next September.

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You can view all the photos here. Photos courtesy of Martyn Rowe, article by Luke Thompson.

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