Just Some of the Scottish Medal Winners
The link above will take you to the various application forms that are required for those who are taking part in the World Championships in July.
Sun 17th – Pre blacks 1 – Wishaw 09:30 – 11:30
Sat 23rd – Pre blacks 2 – Wishaw 12:00 – 14:00
Sat 9th – Edinburgh Grading
Sat 9th – Pre Blacks 3 – Wishaw 13:30 – 15:30
Sun 24th – English Championships
Sat 30th – Fundraising bagpacking @ Morrisons
Fri 19th – Sun 21st – Black belt grading
Sun 19th – Welsh Championships
Sat 8th – Edinburgh grading
Fri 12th – Sun 14th Taekwondo International World Championships
Sat 7th – Scottish Championships
Sun 8th – Pre blacks 1 – Venue TBC
Sat 28th – Pre blacks 2 – Venue TBC
Sat 28th – Edinburgh Grading
Sat 5th – Pre blacks 3 – Venue TBC
Fri 18th – Sun 20th Black belt grading
Sat 2nd – Sun 3rd 30th TAGB Anniversary Event TBC
Sun 24th – British Championships
Sat 14th – Edinburgh Grading
There may have been plenty blood, sweat and tears as Tae Kwon Do Edinburgh hosted its annual fight and awards night – but the fighting on show highlighted the quality and enthusiasm of the martial art across the city.
The strong crowd at Portobello Town Hall were exposed to a total of 22 bouts, with students from Tae Kwon Do Edinburgh put to the test against representatives from clubs from Uddingston and Hamilton.
The climax to the evening then pitched three of Edinburgh’s most exciting prospects against international stars from Poland.
James Watson, the head instructor who runs the Colinton and Meadowbank sessions at the Edinburgh club, was delighted at the quality of show put together.
Watson, who runs the club alongside Angus Budge and Luke McGowan, said: “It couldn’t have gone any better ,to be honest. The crowd and atmosphere of the place was just amazing.
“I was overwhelmed and the crowd really got behind every fighter on show so it was a great turnout. I think this has underlined the talent that Edinburgh has and has really put us on the map.
“Some maybe didn’t show their true capabilities but most of them came out strong and won their respective bouts. We put them up against harder opponents because we wanted them to face a challenge. There were some very good fights on show.”
Watson, a two-time world champion himself, had special praise for Colinton’s Dean Reid and Lewis Harrison, and Meadowbank’s Kerry Laird for their individual performances, but also paid tribute to Callum Preston, Scott Hughes and David Hand for registering a 2-1 victory in favour of Edinburgh over their European opponents.
“Callum Preston was fighting his very first international fight at the age of 15 and even though he lost, he was facing a guy in his early twenties. Callum has been a British champion a couple of times running and put up a very good fight, he was there and never gave up and will learn from the experience.
“I think the standard was a lot higher than I was expecting from the Polish team. I remember watching them in Poland when I went over to the last European Championships but they did bring a real challenge to my guys.”
Watson has previously stated his intentions to extend the club’s international relations and welcome further overseas opposition to compete here in Edinburgh, an aspiration that has simply been enhanced by the success generated by the club’s triumph at the weekend.
The club now await their next challenge in April when competitors from Liverpool provide the opposition but Watson revealed he has also been sounded out about the possibility of hosting one of Tae Kwon Do’s more lucrative events.
He said: “We are already in talks to host another international event. It’s a hard process because there is a lot of funding needed to get the other team over and look after them. They loved their time over here and they’ve asked us to come over to Poland for the return leg next year.
“We’ve also just been asked by the TAGB (Tae Kwon Do Association Great Britain) which is Europe’s largest single martial arts organisation to see if we would be able to stage either the British Championships or the World Championships in Edinburgh.
“The problem we have at the moment is there isn’t a venue big enough to hold it. We could host the event through in Glasgow but I would like to see it held in the Capital.”
Polish coach Piotr Bernat was overwhelmed by the support and hospitality he and his team received during their short stay in the Capital. He said: “I’d like to thank everyone for making us feel so welcome. It has been a fantastic experience to come over and fight and we would love to have a return leg in Poland next year.”
Founded in 2009, several students affiliated to the club also picked up seconds and thirds in what proved to be a hugely successful voyage to the Coventry Skydome.
Instructor James Watson, a two-times world champion who also secured first place in the middleweight category at the event, is delighted that the club is finally receiving recognition, and is predicting even better things in 2013.
Watson said: “It’s the best feeling ever. I cannot express how happy I am with a result like this. I am actually happier for them than I was for myself when I won my first world title. There is a connection now between the coach and his fighters and I am just so passionate for them to achieve great things. I think this is something Scotland as a nation is missing and don’t believe anyone is pushing the guys to the limit.
“I was hoping to achieve a result like this. But I never really thought too much about it and was more focused on building towards the World Championships which are in July next year in Coventry as well.”
Watson believes he possesses talent at the club capable of going that extra step and bringing home a world title. With such enthusiasm himself to put Taekwondo in Edinburgh on the map, there is every chance Watson will one day see his dreams become reality.
He said: “I really believe I have a couple of world champions in the making within my class. I can now say I have some of the best in Britain but I want to take it to that next stage and say we have the best in the world. I’d love to find another world champion from Scotland. I want to promote my guys as much as I can and get them out there fighting for world titles and not just national.
“I really want them to make a go of it because they get promised the world in sports like football. I hope to take Taekwondo in Edinburgh to that next level.”
Callum Preston, 15, was one of those to become a British champion, and he admits he did not envisage such success prior to the event in the West Midlands. However, the victory has given him the impetus to progress and fulfil his potential. Preston said: “This is my first big title I have won.
“I’ve won fight nights and what have you and I was confident going down there that I could get something, maybe a bronze or silver, but I didn’t expect to win. I’m ecstatic at winning the British title but I just want to keep improving all the time and I’m looking forward to the World Championships next year.”
Two-times British champion Finley Pattman, eight, displays a confidence that stretches way beyond his tender years. He said: “I found it a bit easier this time around from winning my last British Championship. I hope to win a trophy at the World Championships.”
The Scottish Taekwondo Academy’s eight British champions are: James Watson, Finley Pattman, Lewis Harrison, Georgia Young, Callum Preston, Saul Sztor, Sean Ehsani and Aidan Cowin.
Singles – Jimmy 3rd Scott 3rd Kerry 3rd jack 3rd.
Finley 1st Charlie 1st
… Teams - Bennett and william 3rd. Kieran 1st, Scott 1st, Jimmy 3rd.
Well done team. .
Anyone who would like to be in them please be there for 5:30 sharp, with WHITE DOBOKS only
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Every MONDAY & WEDNESDAY