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SGTKD attend the UKITF Training Day and Awards Evening
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It was with a mixture of excitement and apprehension that some of the students from SGTKD travelled up to the Crowne Plaza at Heathrow on Saturday 18th January. Excitement because we were taking part in the first UKITF training day and awards evening and apprehension about what the training would involve and would we be up to the task?

Having arrived at the hotel we met up with old friends from the other regions for a quick catch up before the day officially started.

After a brief welcome and introduction from Master Nicholls, Mr Hollingsworth (the UKITF Technical and Research Committee Chair) put us through a warm up and then started us off on the first discipline of the day - fitness and conditioning! During the 45-60 minutes that followed we were certainly put through our paces. However, due to our varying ages, grades and general fitness levels we were constantly reminded to work at our own ability and not to over do anything that may lead to injury. The room was filled with the sounds of exertion and of laughter as press-ups, leg raises and sit ups were carried out in various ways! Everyone was encouraged by each other so we all tried our best and the following days of aching bodies was, I am sure, a testament to how hard we all worked!

Sparring drills followed and Mr Hollingsworth’s enthusiasm as we learnt some new techniques and tried to perfect attacks and counter attacks was contagious and even though some of us tried to slide and kick whilst moving forward but ended up on the floor a couple of times, it was great fun learning from him!

After a brief stop for lunch we split into a couple of groups and Miss Burridge took us through some patterns focusing on the correct technique, power and speed of moves. It was great to have the opportunity to see some of the higher grades gathered together and performing their patterns. You could almost hear the Stoke Gifford student’s hearts sink when Miss Burridge mentioned the leg strengthening exercises that would follow and true to her word she put us through the side kick holding, circling, pulsing and side to side exercise! Miss Burridge and Mr Rauli took to the floor and showed us Tong Il tul.

Master Nicholls then led us in some pad drills including showing us how to increase power in to produce strong front snap kicks and where to correctly place our turning and reverse turning kicks.

After a few group photos and wise words from Master Nicholls, Mr Hollingsworth, Miss Burridge and Mr Rauli we all headed off for a well earned rest and shower. However, Ollie, Lucie, Kieran, Connie and Ben still managed to muster up enough energy for a swim in the hotel pool first!

Later on we headed back down to attend the evening meal and awards presentations. Whilst we wined, dined and chatted amongst ourselves and with our UKITF friends, photos of days training were shown on the big screen. The three course meal was soon followed by the National and Regional Awards during which Miss Burridge was presented with a champagne glass set as an appreciation for all her hard work as chair of the Coaching and Tournament Committee. Kieran McDermott was awarded the Overall Region 7 Competitor for 2013 and Emily Oakes, who has recently joined the club, was presented with a Recognition of Dedication award.

Following some closing speeches from Master Nicholls and the UKITF Development Committee chair Mr Mandeep Rauli, we finished the evening partying away!

We all had a fantastic day and would like to thank Master Nicholls, Mr Hollingsworth and Miss Burridge for their instruction during the day, to Ashley Nicholls for organising the event and to all our friends from the various regions for contributing to such an enjoyable day and evening. We are really looking forward to next year.

Written by: SGTKD - 5th February 2014

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