Brentford at the British Open 2013

The 5th and 6th October brought the 2013 British Open to The Oasis, Swindon. For Brentford TKD, this meant 2 days of competition across the junior, adult and senior categories. Instructor Danny Welland travelled down on Saturday to compete in new territory in the senior division whilst Dale Stiles, Jamie McCarthy, James Adetutu, Dilon Mertikanov and Umbreen Khan made the journey down the following morning. On Sunday, once seat belts were found, so began an hour of driving through fog patches, early morning sleepy questions (‘what’s the motorway?’ – James!) and a slight panic whilst crossing the magic roundabout which Danny had come across the previous day, the group arrived in Swindon early and stopped off at McDonalds (except Umbreen who, as always, was worried about the weigh-in). Not long after, the group arrived at The Oasis. They were the first to arrive and once Mr Welland (fully fed) had arrived, the team headed down to the weigh-in. Everyone made weight easily, obtained passes and competitor numbers and headed to the sports hall.

The previous day saw Danny compete in sparring, patterns, power and special technique. After a break in competing in patterns at recent tournaments, Danny pulled through against friend and fellow competitor Andrew Lawrence and Mike Cude to start Brentford’s British Open medal tally with a bronze medal. Sparring was the next call of the day and Danny’s first delve into senior sparring proved it was not a division to be taken lightly. His first bout was a win against a Swedish opponent which saw him progress to the next round. The next bout was also a success as Danny used his experience and skill against Andrew proving one of Dale’s miscellaneous quotes of the day; ‘there are no friends in this game’. As Danny reached the final, it did not get easier. After a tough, close fight against an Irish opponent who is also the current European Welterweight champion, Danny came away with a silver medal and more determination to get gold in the next tournament. The day was not over as still to come was special technique and power. Special technique is usually a good event for Danny and this tournament was no exception. Following a successful qualifying twimyo ap chagi, Danny continued to progress as the rest of the competition fell away and Danny took the top position on the podium with a gold medal. Danny’s medal haul ended here with the full set; gold, silver and bronze.

Sunday saw the adult and junior competitors fired up to perform. First up in the junior division was Dilon in kup patterns, he received the first metal of the day as he was presented with a silver medal by the much respected Master Wood. Dilon didn’t get much of a rest as he was called up for sparring next. His opponent was a familiar one who he had previously come up against but unfortunately was caught early on in the round and never got a chance to really get started. However, Dilon matched the silver in patterns with a silver in sparring. Dilon showed real heart in his first major tournament and is eager for the next. Later on in the day, Dilon surprised everyone including the rest of the Brentford team, who were watching from the stands, in the power event. Breaking the boards with a side kick, turning kick, knifehand strike and punch, he may have found his calling!

James, in his first tournament as an adult, was called up for patterns. After pronouncing the wrong choice pattern name, James unfortunately did not progress to the next round. However, as always for James, the best was yet to come as he was called up for sparring. Mr Welland watched on from the sidelines as there were no coaches in this tournament and the other members of Brentford watched from the stands. The first round was against an opponent who James had faced before and he showed the previous win was certainly not by chance, claiming his first victory as an adult. The next round was against a much older black tag opponent who James refused to be intimidated by, showing control, landing powerful punches and his trademark mid-air kicks including a back kick that showed James’ precise reflexes. The final ended in a draw leading to a third round that saw the decision go to the opponent and James receiving a silver. James proved he is ready for the move up to adult competition and is a talent Brentford are proud to have.

Dale also had a successful day and after an eventful Saturday night and driving the Sunday team down to Swindon, Dale was feeling the effects but pulled through to receive a silver medal in patterns.  He also exceeded expectations in sparring, showing real skill moving in and out of range to obtain a win in the first round. His second bout was against a much taller opponent, Dale was exhausted but managed to stay busy and pushed through to battle it out until the end to a close finish. He was awarded a silver medal but if medals were given for courage and determination Dale would have received a gold. Following the exhausting effort, Dale still managed to film fellow team members events (complete with regular hiccups – evident in footage!). He eventually retired to his car for a well-deserved nap!

Another member of Brentford who had been looking forward to this tournament was Jamie McCarthy. His efforts in training was evident as he showed a big improvement in fitness and a more offensive style compared to his previous fights against the taller opponent. Jamie’s work on the punchbag showed in his sparring as flurries of punches kept the opponent away for much of the fight. A few more shots landed by the opponent meant Jamie took a bronze medal. If Jamie keeps improving at the rate he showed in this tournament, he will be on the top position on the podium in no time.

As the day progressed, Umbreen eventually took to the mat to take part in 1st degree patterns. She had a familiar face to compete with as the only other competitor in this category was a Swedish girl who Umbreen had previously met at the Euros earlier in the year. Umbreen performed Won Hyo and Gae Baek and won the category, taking gold.  Shortly after, Umbreen padded up for sparring and as there were no other micro weights was moved up to lightweight. Umbreen’s was the first bout of the category and a tough fight against a world champion saw her exit with a bronze medal.

Sunday saw instructor Danny Welland busy with officiating and demonstrating correct technique and rules on the special technique mat for much of the day, ensuring a fair and clear contest for competitors. Whilst Mr Welland undertook officiating responsibilities, the team pulled together for support during the day and coached from the stands where possible showing a strong team bond which is reflective of Brentford TKD as a club. The day ended as it started – in McDonalds – albeit with heavier bags! Well done to all competitors, until next time…!

Danny Welland – Gold (Special Technique), Silver (Sparring), Bronze (Patterns)
Jamie McCarthy – Bronze (Sparring)
Dilon Mertikanov– Silver (Sparring), Silver (Patterns)
James Adetutu – Silver (Sparring)
Dale Stiles – Silver (Sparring), Silver (Patterns)
Umbreen Khan – Gold (Patterns), Bronze (Sparring)