Sparring Seminar with Mr Tapilatu

DSC_0858On the 3rd October VTA hosted it’s annual guest seminar. This year we were honoured to have former 2x World, 2x European 2x King of Taekwon-Do champion and WTF silver medalist Mr Stephen Tapilatu from the Netherlands. Sabum Tapilatu is one of the original ITF legends and his family are responsible for changing the way the ITF sparring is making it the force that it is today.

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The day was split into 3 sessions. The first was for 12 years and under. Mr Tapilatu had them warm up with some sparring related games before getting their safety equipment on. Then they did lots of drills, building up combinations before have a massive match with everyone attacking the Dutch coach.


The second session for for the older kids and colour belt adults. Again, the warm up was brief and they quickly got into the sparring drills. Focussing on footwork and recovery and building up attacking and defensive combinations (plus a few special exercises at the end!). After 2 hours all the students were exhausted but couldn’t stop smiling.


DSC_0101The final session was three hour for the black tags and above. And it was tough. The session again focussed on footwork and recovery after attacking and defending. But also understanding why do the drills not just mindlessly doing them. The session finished with some point sparring and some fun matches. The time went by so fast and you could see the enjoyment on everyone’s faces. It was great to see the enthusiasm that Sabum Tapilatu brought – thank you sir. Well done to all the students and thanks to the instructors from other associations who brought students to the seminar.


Photos courtesy of Martyn Rowe and Luke Thompson. Gallery here.


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