34th TTA Individual Championships, Nov 2017
The 5th November, 2017, saw the 34th TTA Individuals Championships Competition take place in Glasgow, with TTA London taking one of our biggest ever teams up to Glasgow, with a large variety of experience, from first timers to seasoned pros, of all ages from children to seniors, participating in poomsae, kyorugi (sparring), refereeing and coaching.
TTA London returned with 7 Golds, 15 Silver, 10 Bronze Medals and a Team Spirit Trophy! Many congratulations to all our participants.
Reporting back from their experiences below: Anthony Cornwell, Michaela Raj, Elias Zapantis, Annecy Crescini and Victoria Boyle.
Competition is something I’ve been excited about since day one of taekwondo training and it was a real honour to compete alongside great teammates for the first time. Training before the competition definitely upped the ante and prepared us well for what was to come.
However, everyone who was participating knew that they would be sparring against someone from the TTA, which helped to enhance our spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
We are very grateful to all of the instructors, officials and referees who made the event possible. After coming an excellent second in this year’s competition, we hope to build on our momentum to bring even more players to the next one and go for gold. Pilsung!
On Competition Day:
Elias: On the day of the main event, everything happened so quickly. Firstly we were called to compete in our patterns. This was the time to demonstrate the precision of our techniques and the intent of our practice. You were able to admire the mastery of the art of fellow senior grades and aspire to reach their level.
Then, it was Sparring time, hoguls on and my turn to step into the ring! I could hear my heart racing, not from fear but excitement! I would be able to put into practice everything I had learned so far, and identify aspects I need to work on. I really enjoyed the competition and am looking forward to the team competition in Spring. Having been a newbie to the competition, I can only quote Grandmaster Loh's words: to enjoy and treat it as training practice. I surely did! After my match was over, I was able to watch other TTA members spar and cheer for them, with the occasional gasp because of a perfectly performed reverse turning kick!
Victoria: My nerves were very high the morning of the competition, fear of the unknown and pressure on myself to perform, but it was made easier sharing the experience with everyone. Taking notes from seniors in advance really helped calm our nerves. With a great atmosphere and nerves more than ever, we went into the sparring competitions. I won my first fight and managed to get some good headshots on my opponent, really boosting my confidence. The final for me was a really hard fight, although I put in every bit of effort I had, I came up against a much better fighter and lost. It wasn’t a bad thing as I learnt so much. The importance of kick combinations, not to let the pressure and tiredness get in the way of your technique and to block head kicks to avoid a nose bleed! Thank you to my kick-ass team mates and instructors for amazing support and spirit on the day.
Michaela: This was my second time participating in the competition and as with the first time, it was an extremely rewarding experience and a great learning opportunity. The poomsae competition was a great way to ease into the events of the day and compare skills with competitors across clubs and levels. By the time the kyorugi portion of the competition started, there was no more time to be nervous! My turn was one of the first matches of the day and although I did not achieve the winning score, I still had a really good time and came away with quite a few learning points. I really appreciated the support and advice of my coach as well as all the TTA London club members watching and cheering me on! Likewise, I really enjoyed watching subsequent matches and showing support for other competitors - watching the performance of others is a valuable learning opportunity and it is also great to see the club spirit of support and encouragement come alive all throughout the day.
Annecy: This was my third time participating on the TTA competition and this time I went fully prepared. I already have experience, I attended the intense one week Summer School program at Nottingham and went to training four times a week.
The first event was the poomsae competition. I will be performing taeguk sa jang , which was the pattern that I polished on the Summer School. As soon as I got into the venue, I did my warm up and practiced my pattern a couple more times on the actual mat.
The poomsae competition started with men first and I saw others do their front kicks high with ease, faces with intense focus, and heard loud kihaps. While I was sitting down, I was replaying my moves again and again on my head so as not to forget while watching others perform theirs. When it was my turn, I was ready and confident, and all the moves felt natural. My pattern was over in 20 moves and I was pleased with what I did. All of those countless practices were reciprocated with my very first gold medal.
The next event was the sparring competition. I was against a fellow member from the London team, and it was the finals straight away. My fight was the thirteenth fight on the women’s court, so I had time to watch and cheer for my club members who will be sparring before me. When it was my turn to fight, I was very nervous. My opponent was junior than me but my coach told me to fight like I just did in the trainings – the double kicks, the shift backs, head shots and don't let my guard down – and that was what I exactly did. The fight ended on the second round with a massive point gap and I managed to score more than 80 points against my opponent. Hard work never betrays you and I was very happy getting my second gold medal.
Anthony: This competition brought new experiences for me, the most rewarding of which was coaching many of the TTA London players through their fights. With so many sparring players the team schedule was hectic but fun, and I particularly liked the way everyone worked together to provide maximum support to our players - both coaching and cheering - while the fights were in progress. Our players demonstrated the considerable advances they have made in their training over the course of the last few months, while coming away with valuable lessons for further improvement and areas of focus for the months ahead.
In terms of my own performance, I felt I progressed from last year and was able to have more of a sparring ‘conversation’ with my opponent, a highly skilled black belt who I also fought in last year’s competition. But by far the best element of the day was the excellent team spirit evident across the TTA throughout the competition. Encouragingly, all of our players had very positive experiences, and many have been inspired to fight in the team competition next year.
*Poomsae Senior Male 2nd dan:Jason Smith - Silver
*Poomsae Senior Male 1st dan:Dayo Ajibade - SilverAnthony Cornwell - Bronze
*Poomsae Senior Female 1st kup - 1st danCharlotte Foong - GoldLouise Mayor - Bronze
*Poomsae Senior Male - 2nd kupBharat Raj - Silver
*Poomsae Senior Female 2nd kupMichaela Raj - Silver
*Poomsae Senior Male 3rd kupJamal Wallace - SilverElias Zapantis - Bronze
*Poomsae Senior Female 4th kupAnnecy Crescini - Gold
*Poomsae Senior Female 5th kupJenny Wilson - Silver
*Poomsae Senior Male 6th kupNiccolo Brocchin - Gold
*Poomsae Senior Female 6th kupVictoria Boyle - Silver
*Poomsae Children Female 4th kupAmber - Gold
*Senior Male Kyorugi 2nd kup +Jason Smith - SilverAnthony Cornwell - BronzeBharat Raj - Bronze
*Senior Male Kyorugi 6th kup - 3rd kupJonathan Stallman - SilverJosh McDonald - SilverNiccolo Brocchin - SilverJamal Wallace - BronzeElias Zapantis - Bronze
*Senior Female Kyorugi:Annecy Crescini - GoldMaja Jablonska-Bak - SilverVictoria Boyle - SilverYoungae Shin - SilverJessica Tjeng - SilverLouise Major - BronzeMichaela Raj - BronzeJenny Wilson - Bronze
*Cadet Female Kyorugi:Emma - Gold
*Children Female Kyorugi:Amber - Gold
Referees: Dayo Ajibade, Charlotte Foong, Tricia Eghagha, Romuald Kouassi