05Dec

TTA Individual Competition 2018

On Sunday 18th November 41 members of TTA London travelled to Glasgow to compete, referee, coach and officiate in the 2018 TTA Individual Championships.

A large number of students and instructors competed in the kyorugi (sparring) and poomsae (patterns), delivering an impressive medal haul of 12 golds, 11 silvers and 14 bronzes. TTA London also fielded more officials than ever before, with 17 members refereeing and/or officiating.

The hard work and commitment of the club’s members has been particularly evident in recent competitions, with London slowly climbing up the medal table. This year the club surpassed its previous achievements to win its first ever team shield as the most successful team in this year’s championships!

The win is a tremendous effort that has been years in the making. The taekwondo experience of those competing ranged from 3 months to more than 10 years, highlighting the contributions made by all members of the club. The shield is testament to their training and to the commitment of all TTA London students, including those who were not at the competition but have been instrumental in pushing their classmates to achieve more throughout their taekwondo journeys.

Lastly, we would like to thank TTA London’s senior instructor, Mr Bender, for building the club that so many enjoy today, and Grandmaster Loh, for his instruction, guidance and insight. Below is a small selection of experiences from those taking part in this year’s competition.

Michaela Raj, 1st kup (fourth time poomsae competitor and second time referee)

This was my fourth time attending a TTA competition and as before, it was a busy day full of valuable learning experiences, great team spirit and a lot of fun.

In the weeks before the competition, training for both the poomsae and kyorugi really ramped up, and those of us attending as officials also got a chance to get some refereeing practice in. All this hard work definitely paid off and it was great to show off our skills and take on new challenges on the day!

As in previous years, the day kicked off with the poomsae competition and it was a really interesting experience – performing poomsae in front of so many spectators, including Grandmaster Loh himself, is a valuable exercise in conquering the nerves and focusing on technique and precision, as well as a great opportunity to watch others and reflect on my own practice.

I felt more confident about refereeing compared to the previous competition. Nevertheless, each match brought new competitors, new sparring styles and a new set of challenges, and focus was key. Our ring ran a rotation system to give all officials a chance to experience the different roles and make the most of the learning opportunities on the day. Refereeing may feel less physically intense than competing, but it gives one a different perspective on kyorugi and is a great way to increase understanding of taekwondo!

Overall there was so much to learn and take away into regular practice, strong team spirit and camaraderie on display from the participating clubs, and great skill and tenacity shown by the competitors. The London medals and first-ever team shield were just the (well-deserved) cherry on top!

Celine Dabert, 4th kup (first time poomsae and sparring competitor)

This was my first time participating in the TTA competition and I enjoyed every aspect of it!

Before the event, I was nervous but also excited to apply what I have learnt and test my skills. Being in Glasgow with everyone the evening before the competition was a good opportunity to relieve some stress as the more experienced students were sharing their experiences and being very supportive.

The day started with the poomsae competition. It was a good way to practise my pattern but also observe seniors. It encourages you to practise more and improve.

For the sparring, I was nervous but it was a very powerful experience. You realise what your weaknesses are and how you need to work to overcome them. I completely enjoyed the experience! A lot of things we have been learning now make more sense.

During the competition, I enjoyed the amazing team spirit: everybody was supporting each other, giving advice and cheering during matches.

I loved every part of the competition. It was a very rewarding experience and I have learnt a lot. It will change the way I train and look forward for the next competition!

Blue Gene, 8th kup (first time sparring competitor)

When I joined TTA London earlier this year it didn’t take long to learn that the competition was impending. Having not yet done my first grading (before agreeing to compete), I felt a calling to enter as a challenge to myself.

Post-grading, I started to get to grips with sparring. Learning to move – reacting to your opponent’s kicks by shifting and stepping, before counterattacking – proved more challenging than anticipated. The guidance I received from the instructors and senior students was invaluable and has given me the tools to reimagine myself.

Three day before the competition the seniors helped me to finally download – so to speak – the mechanics of the turning kick to my head. I hoped, now that my mind has understood the principles of the turning kick, that my body would move in accordance.

During the competition itself I managed to score some points that included a headshot! My opponent was a formidable yellow belt and I am now aiming to reach his standard and beyond. I lost the bout but awakened the Indomitable Spirit – a key tenet of taekwondo – within myself.

Since the competition I have graded for and achieved a yellow belt. I know that, through dedication, I can keep progressing onwards from here.

Gold

Annecy Crescini – Kyorugi

Barty Shepherd – Poomsae

Diana Llewellyn – Poomsae

Elias Zapantis – Poomsae

Matthew Cheng- Poomsae

Nikolett Timar – Poomsae and Kyorugi

Robert Simmons – Kyorugi

Romuald Kouassi – Kyorugi

Sarah Garrett – Kyorugi

Victoria Boyle – Poomsae and Kyorugi

Silver

Annecy Crescini – Poomsae

Barty Shepherd – Kyorugi

Bharat Raj – Poomsae

Daniela Torres- Poomsae and Kyorugi

Diana Llewellyn- Kyorugi

Jessica Tjeng – Poomsae

Louise Mayor – Kyorugi

Matthew Cheng – Kyorugi

Sarah Liang – Poomsae

Vera Mikusch – Kyorugi

Bronze

Anthony Cornwell – Kyorugi

Bashkim Isai – Kyorugi

Blue Gene – Kyorugi

Celine Dabert – Kyorugi

Danielle Vrublevskis – Kyorugi

Jonathan Liang – Kyorugi

Joshua McDonald – Poomsae

Luisa Liu – Poomsae

Mandeep Kaur – Poomsae and Kyorugi

Michaela Raj – Poomsae

Sarah Liang – Kyorugi

Youngae Shin – Poomsae and Kyorugi