28Jun

1st annual London Sparring Course

The 10th and 11th of May saw the first of what we hope to be an annual event: the TTA sparring course hosted in London and led by Grandmaster Loh. We had a fantastic attendance with thirty-six students -the majority came from London, but we were also joined by seniors from Nottingham and Leeds.

Registration began at 9:30, at the Central Foundation Boys’ School next to Old Street station. Over the course of two days’ training, Grandmaster Loh established the foundations of good Kyorugi practice. A lot of emphasis was placed on partner work, with drills focusing on moving forward with combo techniques, and decisive counterattacks. Saturday concluded with a group meal at the Imperial China restaurant at Chinatown. As well as being a wonderful venue and meal, this gave everyone the opportunity to unwind and share some of their favourite Tae Kwon Do stories.

The second day’s session continued with more paddle and hogu partner kicking drills, with a fantastic level of effort put in from the whole gamut of grades. There was some great spirit shown, with spontaneous applause breaking out for participants all the way from yellow tags up to 2nd Dan.

We wrapped up with an illuminating Q & A with Grandmaster Loh, who emphasised the role and responsibility that senior students play in encouraging junior grades to extend and test their abilities, and the reciprocal relationship for junior grades to stop seniors from getting too stuck in their ways. This message of cooperation was a fitting conclusion to a course that held lots of important messages for the whole range of grades attending. The only thing left to do was a final drink at the pub before a well-earned rest.

Thanks go to Grandmaster Loh for travelling down to teach for the weekend, and to all students who attended and made the course such a success. Thanks also to those who organised the logistics of the course which flowed very smoothly indeed, and to those who organised the socials. Lastly, thanks to the kind staff at the school who went above and beyond in opening the venue early and closing late for us.

Sam Edwards