WKU German Open 2013

Members of Masters Wolf's Taekwon-Do Academies recently traveled to Germany as part of the England Kickboxing Team. Below is the report from

Report by Tom Raybould, 1st degree

On Friday morning, 14thJune 2013, eighteen competitors boarded a bus bound for foreign soil to compete in the WKU German Open Championships.  Headed by Coach, Master Wolf 8thdegree, the squad were in great hands.

The English squad comprised novices, ready to test their mettle for the first time in international competition, with more experienced heads, who continue push the boundaries and build experience for the forthcoming World Championships in Crete; along with more seasoned competitors, including current World Champions. After a long day of traveling the squad reaching their destination safe and sound on the Friday night. Spirits were good and the feeling in the camp was relaxed and pleasant. Once at the hotel there was the small matter of the (mostly successful) weigh in before everyone could settle down and rest for the day ahead.

Arriving at the tournament on Saturday morning was chaos as a thousand competitors rush hither and thither to rings, to weigh-ins and seemingly just for the sake of it. Amidst the hurley burley of all the various events the squad prepared for light contact and point-fighting competitions ... and waiting, there would be a lot of waiting throughout the day.

In the point fighting, Steve Morgan was unlucky to settle for silver against Ireland in the veteran’s -75kg while the rest of the squad fought with varying levels of success and although coming close were unable to claim any more trophies.

For a squad more at home in the light contact division results were very different. The new fighters at their first international tournament acquitted themselves admirably. In the juniors Aysel Garyp fought with determination going the distance in her first fight but unable to clinch the victory. Nicole Follett was clinical in her first fight putting on a fine display. The following match was against the eventual winner, was a real battle that took great spirit but proved a step too far. Corey Scott faced adversity and discovered the harsh reality of fighting in the heavyweight division in the form of his gigantic opponent.  Zak Cohen acquitted himself extremely well at his, his first international tournament and was an extremely important learning curve.  Harvey Rigden showed amazing potential and is definitely one to watch out for!

Rizwan Rafique rose to the occasion, lifting his game and giving a glimpse of what he is capable of.

The most experienced junior Frankie Smith claimed a bronze.  Frankie pulled of two of the most amazing techniques of the day!  In the point fighting he scored a 3 pointer with an amazing jump reverse turning kick, and in the final seconds of his continuous bout he scored with a 360-degree back kick, reaching about 5 foot off of the ground!

Charlotte Jones started well winning her first fight but was unable to find her form in the second fight.

Having missed his veteran -75kg category Steve Morgan elected to compete at a heavier category. While acquitting himself well he finally succumbed to the weight disadvantage.

In the seniors Michael Cawood went to Germany with just one year of training under his belt and drew praise from his contemporaries for his battling performance.

Ben England and Jamaine Hemmings fought well in the men’s -70kg with Michael Cawood. Mr England going on to claim silver in the final against German opposition. Chris Djaelani dominated the -75kg division claiming gold with a perfect performance. Tom Smith and Tom Raybould fought the -85kg category in a roped ring. Although Mr Raybould was unable to set up a repeat of the MWTA British Final, losing in the semi’s, Tom Smith was imperious throughout on his seemingly inevitable march to the gold.

The tournament continued long into the night. As the hall emptied and the organizers started to dismantle rings and clear the tournament away Adnan Rafique and Adam James the final representatives of the squad fought in the +90kg category. Mr Rafique unrecognizable from the performance at Orlando was cool as a cucumber in his first fight even relaxing enough for a little showboating. The semi-final could have gone either way but the judge’s decision went against him. Adnan making amends in the fight off for bronze.

Adam James claimed the award for fighter of the day in a series of fights that will undoubtedly (probably won’t) become known as the “dust up in Deutschland”. After a heavy contact first fight and an out of rhythm second fight he reached the final to face the German who dispatched Mr Rafique in the previous round. After what was described, as the fight of his life Mr James was unfortunate the decision went against him but he came away with the silver.

It was 10:30, the squad had been competing for over 12 hours.  The day was done for a squad that can be rightly proud of all their achievements. It would be difficult to look at this squad and not see some growth or development of each fighter. Some of life’s most valuable lessons are learned through blood, sweat and tears and it is nice when those lessons come with a little silverware to sweeten the deal.

Thanks to Master Wolf for organizing the trip and we look forward to seeing everyone’s progression in the up coming World Championships.