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Thornbury TKD attend Welsh Championships
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On Sunday 19th February Thornbury TKD club set off on voyage to Penarth Leisure Centre for the first UKITF tournament of the year. With eight geared up competitors and one helpful official, club instructor Mr Vaughan Buxton placed a target of reaching twelve medals between the competitors. On arrival Thornbury club were met by familiar faces of other instructors, competitors, officials, friends and family all ready to see the day take shape. It was great to see the hall already set up with four matted rings equipped with state of the art Electronic scoring systems. We would like give a huge thanks to all those who aided with the hall preparation in advance so the tournament was up and ready to kick start at 9am sharp. Following an efficient meeting with officials the tournament was ready to commence.

Black belts took the floor first and representing Thornbury TKD in the First Dan Adult Female division was Nicola Barke. Nicola is hoping to represent England in the upcoming World championships in Canada. With the Worlds in sight and the club goal in mind Nicola set off with a good start making it through round one and into the semi-finals, after delivering a faultless pattern Nicola was just tipped out of a place in the final and secured Thornbury’s first medal of the day. Next to take the floor was experienced Stuart Leppard. Following his success at the British Championships and with his past achievement in mind the team had high hopes for Mr. Leppard who did not disappoint. He performed to his usual exceptional high standard and brought Thornbury the first Gold of the day.  It would soon surface that this would not be the last. Club instructor Vaughan Buxton was called to the floor where he carried out a technically proficient pattern. It was an excellent representation of all the fundamental components of a senior competitor; power, rhythm, sign wave, balance and breath control all contributing to an aesthetically pleasing and functional pattern. Mr. Vaughan Buxton set the standards for the club, receiving the second gold of the day and gaining his seeding points to compete at the 2012 World Championships.

Competing in the Adult Male Third Dan division was Reece Nicholls a former London club member. After a successful first round Reece was met my former club mates and now top competitors Luke Dempsey and Jamie McAvoy. All three have represented the UK for a considerable number of years in Junior and Adult divisions coming up the ranks together. On this occasion Reece was defeated for  a place in the final by club mate Luke Dempsey but was in good spirits to see former club mates scoop  first, second and third medal positions.

As the black belt divisions came to a close, it was time to set foot into colour belt ranks.  Glyn Williams competed next. Although relatively new to the competition fields Glyn’s debut at the 2011 British Championships set the bar high for himself and supporters. Having previously acquired a place in the British finals, Glyn was yet to take a gold medal and Wales was the place. After storming through several patterns rounds, Glyn made it to the final and pocketed Thornbury yet another gold. As the day progressed Mr. Buxton’s goal seemed all the more achievable after a successful morning.

With the Thornbury adults having taken part in the first discipline of the day it was time to see the youth of the club get to work. Thornbury’s kid’s kickers, Janos, Kelsey and Marcus competed in their respective patterns divisions.  Kelsey performed her pattern with accuracy, making it into the semi finals where she ultimately secured herself a silver medal. Janos and Marcus, competing in separate divisions drew tough competition in their opening rounds resulting in them narrowly missing out on progressing further. However, these three aspiring young athletes train at the regional Bristol squad and sparing was their next opportunity to show their skills and talent.

Sparing time! With a number of packed divisions yet again sparring was never going to be an easy ride. Alongside the large divisions, the game was upped with officials making the executive decision to make every round x2, 2 minutes and act in accordance with the World Championship criteria. Bearing this in mind Vaughan, Stuart, Reece and Nicola padded up, hoping to secure themselves a top seeding place for Canada.  Vaughan, a frequent national and international competitor with great ring experience and knowledge stood him in good stead. With what appeared as a difficult draw, Vaughan showed skill and accuracy with his execution of sparing techniques, flying through the quarter and semi finals, and into the final. Met by well respected and active competitor Matt Brunger this was an exact re-enactment of the British 2011. With a number of shots landing on both behalves, spectators found themselves watching table tennis with the electronic score board as it deviated between Vaughan to Matt. In the end, Matt took the win with the last five seconds, but yet another great fight.

Similar to Vaughan, Stuart, Reece and Nicola were all hoping to cement there place in worlds. Stuart competed in the hyper weight veteran division, with a successful first fight it was clear Stuart was on top form. Progressing to the next round Stuart was met in the final by a European competitor Andy Stevens. Following another skilful performance Stuart proved to himself and others why he would be such a huge asset to the UK squad.

Reece competed in the -70kg welter weight division. The crowd were on edge following the first minute having almost witnessed a knock out. Despite this, Reece quickly returned to his feet and altered his game plan to not trade hands with a hard hitting and experienced Peter Scott. After an intense x2, 2 minute round, Reece proved his true capability and natural flare, securing himself a place in the final. Reece came face to face again with Luke in the final. After loosing patterns to Luke in the final, Reece was adamant and even more determined to win. Being such close friends and former club mates, sparring at such a high level was a challenge for both. In spite of all this, Reece was victorious.

Competing in the Adult Female Welter Weight division was Nicola. Equally matched the fight did not take long to get under way, with both competitors seeking a place in the finals.  Despite them both showing great willpower, Nicola tipped her opponent and acquired a well deserved place in the final. Also joining Nicola in the final was international medallist and member of women’s team Jay Gilbert. Nicola and Jay had met before, and although Nicola had been successful on pervious occasions jays earlier performance was faultless. After a gruelling and high impact first round it was time for them to raise the bar in the second round. With both ladies giving it there all to obtain the well desired seeding points Nicola took home the gold.

Outside the seeding, Thornbury’s other competitors were now ready to show their sparring prowess. Glyn Williams drew a tough first fight. With both competitors new to the competition field the spar showed anything but what would be expected at beginner standard. Fighting hard and at full intensity for the full 4 minute round Glyn marginally missed filtering through to the next round.

Finally, back to the youth of the club, Kelsey, Janos and Marcus proved that Thornbury’s kid’s kickers were not to be messed with. All three of them battled through a number of challenging rounds. Their performance clearly showed their dedication to evening training and early morning Saturday squad sessions had paid off and were hours well spent. This not being their first competition, it was pleasing to see them not only enjoy the day but also add to their fast expanding medal collection, each achieving a gold medal in their respected sparring divisions.

Thornbury TKD, would like to say a huge thank you to club instructor Mr. Vaughan Buxton for his time, teaching and continued support. Another big thank you to all officials, umpires, instructors, competitors and supporters for another successful and smoothly run event. We very much look forward to the forthcoming Scottish UKITF championships.

Written by: Thornbury TKD - 5th March 2012
[Comments: 1]

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Article Feedback:

Christopher Devine : 5th March 2012, 21:08

Great article :) Mr Buxton -vs- Mr Brunger in the middleweight sparring was one of the highlights of the tournament for me. Absolutely top class by both fighters.
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