Wicklow schools well represented in finals
MARTIAL ARTS A.I.M.A.A. CHAMPIONSHIPS
TWO WICKLOW TaeKwon-Do schools did their county proud at Grandmaster Hee Il Cho’s Action International Martial Art’s Association (A.I.M.A.A) “Open National championship finals” in the Aer Lingus social and athletic association (A.L.S.A.A) sports complex in Dublin Airport on Saturday the 27th and Sunday the 28th of September.
Fourth Degree instructor Mrs. Doreen Byrne’s Aughrim school and second Degree Mr. Paul Healy’s Laragh and Tinahely schools took in 28 placement (1st, 2nd, 3rd) medals altogether.
Aughrim school of Cho’s Tae Kwon Do competitors were Mrs. Doreen Byrne, Miss Trish Kenny, Eileen O’Leary, Niamh Kearney, Lorcan Shannon, Maeliosa O’Leary, Jim and Grace Long, Niamh and Eimear Harper, Audrey Travers, Blaithin and Fiachra O’Leary and Casey Keogh.
While competitors from Mr.Healy’s schools were, Mr.Paul Healy, Stephanie Merrigan, Alison Kearney, Eve Hamilton, Nathan Carr, Stewart Carr, Sunita Sukumara, Nicole Browne, Callum McLaughlin and Francis Williams.
There was a massive turnout of competitors from schools across the country and even from as far as Scotland and Jersey.
This tournament was open to any style or association of martial arts to come and compete against one another, so, as always the standard was very high. The weekend kicked off with a welcome from Master John Darcy A.I.M.A.A European Director, Master Peter Byrne A.I.M.A.A Ireland Director and Master John Kirkwood A.I.M.A.A Scotland Director all wishing each competitor well, and reminding them that winning or losing is not important, enjoying the experience of competition is what it’s all about.
Saturday’s events were the sparring and power breaking divisions with sparring up first. This category drew in a lot of kickboxers as they know they will always find tough competition there, and they were not disappointed.
The rounds were two minutes duration and the final was 2x2 minutes for seniors, one minute rounds with a 2x1.5 final for juniors. This means on average a senior fighter would have fought four two minute rounds with very little rest just to get to into the final to face another 2x2 minute rounds displaying the excellent condition of the competitors involved in Martial Arts.
Later on Saturday the power breaking category was held and as always this section had the crowd’s full attention. Nothing attracts a crowd quicker than watching someone breaking stacks of timber! There were many entries into this section for Black Belts but as always they were quickly separated into those who can, and those who have to practice.
A.I.M.A.A always have great breakers due to the guidance of Grandmaster Cho who is world famous for his unbelievable power breaks. This section can be more dangerous than the sparring with some competitors coming out with serious injuries, one man breaking four bones in his foot, that’s why you shouldn’t try it at home. Martial artists condition the striking parts of their body to withstand the impact of hitting these boards with minimal injury to themselves.
Sunday was tradition day with medals going for best patterns, best team patterns and best and one-step self defence, again the competition was fierce. Each ring had five judges so no mistakes could go unnoticed.
These judges were looking for separation of movement, power and good balance through proper stance. Team pattern judges look for the same but also uniformity and timing of movements between team members. Black Belts were up first again and the standard was excellent, and because this was an open tournament there was a whole range of patterns on show but none more exciting than Master Kirkwood’s son John performing his pattern which won the division.
One-steps were last up, these are movements to defend yourself from a punch in just one step. There are so far 55 different onesteps in Grandmaster Cho’s curriculum, each one a simple but effective escape from an attack situation. The Scottish were unstoppable in this division and the hours they had spent training in the Do-Jang was evident and paid off.
This competition had a category to suit all aspects of Martial Arts, it was also well run and fairly judged. Everyone under the age of twelve received a participation medal so everyone left happy.
If you want information on Tae-Kwon-Do or the availability of the nearest classes to you, check out www.healysmartialarts.c o m <http://www.healysmartialarts.com/> , email healysmartialarts@gmai l.com or ring me Mr. Paul Healy on 0872484570 or Mrs. Doreen Byrne on 086-1631271.