The weekend of 8th & 9th October saw 4 of Blue Dragon’s finest in action at the UK ITF British Championships 2011.
Starting with the Cadet and Senior age sections on the Saturday first up for us was Winsford’s 2010 Sparring British Champion Emily Oakes, who battled her way through several tough matches to the Patterns final against a girl 2 grades above her and narrowly missed out on the big prize with a split judges decision going 3:2 in favour of the other girl.
Next up was Debbie Johanson, from the Cuddington Club, in her first ever competition again battled through to the final of the Patterns only to be “pipped at the post” after having a momentary loss of memory, but taking a very well deserved Silver medal.
Later in the day the focus turned to Sparring and this time Emily was determined to retain her status as British Champion. With a stunning display of focus, power and tactics Emily’s opponents were laid waste, setting up a final against a girl from the Czech Republic national team. The final began as had the other matches with Emily putting on a “shock & awe” show and utterly devastated her opponent and put her on the back foot from the very start, winning the Gold Medal and retaining her title by some considerable margin.
Day 2 saw the 2 younger Walkinshaw family Black Belts in action, both in the Junior (14-17 yrs) age groups. First up was Miss Lyndsay Walkinshaw in her Patterns section which comprised of several reigning national and international champions. Not perturbed by the standard of opposition Miss Walkinshaw performed impeccably making it to the semi finals and being beaten into Bronze Medal position, again on a split judges decision, by the eventual winner and 2011 European Champion.
Several hours passed before Miss Walkinshaw was called back into action in the Black Belt Sparring, which saw her fired up and ready for a fight. Unfortunately her opponent was just as fired up and just that little bit quicker with her feet, landing a mighty blow to the temple that knocked the battling Miss Blue Dragon to the floor. After this dazing blow and much to the admiration of all the spectators she rose to her feet dusted herself off and carried on, landing a few nice kicks and punches before taking a second almighty kick to the chest that lifted her off her feet. This time the fight was over with Miss Walkinshaw requiring some medical attention, happily though it was not to serious and just some bruised ribs.
Last but by no means least was young Mr Robert Walkinshaw, who was fighting in his first competition since returning to training in June this year following a 2 1/2 year layoff. In arguably one of the toughest categories of the wholes event the Junior Heavyweight Black Belts, Mr Walkinshaw faced the towering Josh Harris 2011 European Champion in the Semi Final, and neither of the young men disappointed in a bout that saw barrage after barrage of kicks and punches exchanged, including Mr Walkinshaw’s trademark flying kicks. The points racked up on both sides before the young Blue Dragon was sent crashing to the floor. He had done enough though and walked away with a very well desrved Bronze Medal.
So all in 4 competitors brought home 5 medals: 2 Bronze, 2 Silver and that all too precious Gold. Not a bad weekend’s work!!!