Hey guys, on 18th Novemeber I took part in an ITF Enlgish Junior championships(under 18s), I was just about eligible to compete- I turn 18 in 2 weeks. I was competing in patterns and sparring.
So the results at short hand, were a bronze in patterns and a gold in sparring. But here's a more expansive report:
Patterns: The patterns competition seems to get harder every year, and the standard is quite phenomenal. It's great to see other practitioners do so well, showing their hard work and dedication. I was able to win one round, and felt very pleased with my pattern (hwa-rang) since I was competing against a black tag doing Choong-mu, who was quite sharp as well. I then lost to a very good black tag, who was able to do the flying side kick in Choong-mu, then land with the leg still fully extended- absolutely stunning! He went on to win, and I know that I did a very good pattern, so I was very pleased to win bronze.
Sparring: As I've said, I was probably the oldest in the category, and was also just half a kilo inside the weight limit (65kilos/ just over 10stone). Unfortunately for the other competitors, I was really relaxed and felt pretty confident. I didn't have any of the nerves or adrenaline pump that I usually have. First guy- a red tag and a bit taller than myself- I beat pretty easily. I kick him around a bit, without scoring any points, but he is not even able to throw a kick in response, then I follow up a side kick with a jab-cross to his head- two points to me. Knowing he is behind, he comes forward, and I bang him in the side with a side-kick, which takes most of the fight out of him. Then I relax and move round him, just using my front leg to keep him at range.
Second opponent is a red belt who is a bit smaller and looks a few pounds lighter than myself. I can't remember exactly what happened, but I jabbed him in the head a few times and side kicked him in the ribs (he had to take a time-out after one of those), and just missed a reverse turning kick to his head. Once more, I don't get hit once.
Last chap is a guy from my own school, a black tag, but a fair bit lighter than myself and a bit smaller too. We throw a few kicks at each other, and he has great spinning kicks, which luckily my guard is able to deal with quite easily. I probably hit him with a side kick and gave him trouble dealing with my punch combinations. Then, the best moment of my sparring was a byclicle front leg downward kick that landed right on the guys nose and made him stumble over. After that I was able to take it pretty easy again, and won as expected.
So I won the division, and I didn't get hit in the head once, so I was pretty happy, although I can't decide whether it was my skill or the other's lack of it that enabled nme to win the division. I think my strong guard had something to do with it; most of the other guys had a terrible habit of holding their hands a bit loosely or even dropping them- especially as they kicked, enabling me to bang pretty easily, while they hit nothing but glove. My superior strength(I weight train regularly) also had something to do with it, I was much faster and could hit harder, making opponents think twice before coming forward.
So, report over- I woke up the day after, and luckily, I feel absolutely fine- no bruises, no muscle soreness, nothing.