A small contingent of 5 valiant BDTKD members made the way to the frozen north on Saturday 16th March, driving through treacherous conditions and snow covered motorways to compete at the UKITF Scottish Championships being held the next day at The Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility in Motherwell. The team consisting of Black Belts Mr Walkinshaw, Miss Walkinshaw & Miss Oakes as well as colour belts Debbie Johanson and Martin Jones, were accompanied by ever supportive family members all met up at our “base camp” The Newhouse Hotel just outside Motherwell and ejoyed the customary “last supper” before retiring for a god night’s sleep.
After a very satisfying breakfast it was off for the weigh in at 8am which happilly went smoothly and everyone made their weight category.
First up to compete and lead from the front was the club’s chief instructor Mr Walkinshaw who got the ball rolling with our first medal of the day, winning a Silver Medal in 3rd Degree Black Belt Patterns, going one better than the previous 2 years bronze medals.
This seemed to spur the team onwards and very soon we had our first of 5 Gold Medals with Debbie Johanson sweeping all before her in the ladies colour belt patterns in only her second national competition.
Less than an hour later and it was Gold again, this time for assistant instructor Miss Lyndsay Walkinshaw in 2nd Degree Black Belt Patterns, defeating 2 of the UKITF National Squad members to win her first Gold in 6 years. The sheer delight was evident from not only the club members but the Walkinshaw family with huge cheers going up in celebration.
Keeping up the positive start to the day next up was Martin Jones who despite being only 9th Kup was competing against senior colour belts in his patterns. Happily Martin did himself proud with a fantastic performance to win his first medal of the day with a Silver in colour belt patterns.
The attention now turned to the sparring section and first up was our own national squad member Miss Emily Oakes, fighting in the Black Belt welterweight division. The line up was the same as at the English Championships in February where Miss Oakes won a Silver after 10 gruelling rounds, this time she wanted the Gold and the hunger was evident for all to see as she battled her way past very tough opponents to take a stunning victory and retain her Scottish title and maintain her record of winning Gold at each Scottish Championships she has competed in making it 3 in a row.
Inspired again, Debbie Johanson stepped into the ring for her first ever competitive fight at a national competition and boy did she mean business!!! After defeating a Black tag in the Semi Final, Debbie then won the Final on a Technical Knockout as her opponent was unable to continue following one of Debbie’s kicks, so Double Gold for Debbie in Patterns and Sparring.
This left Martin Jones to don his gloves and enter the ring. Again up against much more experienced competitiors, Marting battle his way to a Bronze medal, which almost became a Silver after nearly emulating Debbie’s knockout feat with a devastating back kick that felled his opponent, sadly after a few seconds the other fighter got back up and went on o win on points.
So next was the power and special technique sections, with none of our club competing in the Power section there was enough time for a brief respite before Mr Walkinshaw stepped up to have a go at the ultimate test of dynamic kicking ability. With the target set at 240cm high it was a daunting task, especially after mcuh taller opponents had failed to get remotely close. One quick measure up later and Mr Walkinshaw made a huge leap and kicked to the target only just missing by around 5mm, this was the closest that anyone got to hitting the board bu sadly under the competition rules the target could not be lowered and everyone was deemed to have “failed” and no medals awarded.
The final person to compete in the Junior Male Colour Belt section of the special technique was Martin Jones, The target now set at 200cm for the colour belts Martin smashed it right over with his first attempt, with only 1 other person hitting the target it moved onto a second round this time flying turning kick, which again Martin smashed to complete his full set of medals for the day winning Gold.
A truly remarkable weekend of Taekwon-Do and wonderful result for Team Blue Dragon – 5 Competitors, 5 Gold Medals, 2 Silvers and 1 Bronze – FANTASTIC!!!