tkd nationals

2

for those wondering where I’ve been;

I competed in the TKD national championships for the first time and managed bronze! crazy to think I’m now the third best fighter in my category in the UK now.

I had to drop out of the fight for the silver because of an injury I took my foot in the first round. Had an xray and the general consensus is that I displaced a tendon in my foot. I also got a lovely whack to my eye which is swelling up and turning black beautifully this week.

I have never fought *pure* TKD before and I only started training pure TKD this summer. I come from boxing and I normally box at 155-160lbs - when I fought in these championships, I was at 138lbs. It’s the lightest I’ve ever been and losing the weight was horrible.

Back to regular posting now though! training is over and I’m back to studying, taking a short break from fighting.

Reflection

So I fought in the UK TKD national championships 3 days ago. There wasn’t much footage for me to look back on but there was enough for me to look at compared with how I felt to know what I need to work on going forward.

I knew going into the ring that I would be at an immediate disadvantage in terms of raw skill. I’ve been doing this sport for two months, so everyone else would have much more experience in this particular art and much more skill than me. This I knew before I went in and was immediately evident in all of my fights.

However; I also knew what I had going in that other competitors didn’t, and that was pure strength. I’m a native boxer and kickboxer, and that upper body strength and raw beating power really helped. I did foul in every single fight, mainly because I would grab a leg defensively then kick hard while I had hold of it, putting my opponent on the floor. But it worked because it scared every single fighter it happened to, and a lot of them seemed nervous every time they got up afterwards. Also, my diversity in my fighting background was experience enough for me to evade, counter, and manage the fights relatively well, but my ring management and general TKD fight sense does need work that I think only experience is going to bring.

My raw beating power helped me win one of my fights, where I got my opponent disqualified by forcing him out of the ring five or six times, then baiting him into going for the same jumping spin hook kick, where he would land with both hands on the floor, thus costing him a foul. The baiting didn’t always end with me scoring a foul; I have a beautiful black eye as proof of this.

I could take hits better than everyone I went up against. This wasn’t necessarily a great thing - it cost me eight points in one fight - but it seemed to make my opponents double take when they landed a clean one on me and I bounced back. I knew this because I am not a naturally good boxer, so when I started years ago I would spend a lot of time just getting hit in the face. 

I worked with simple stuff; going back to my first point, I knew that I couldn’t match their precision or skill, so there was no point trying to use flashy kicks. I stuck with turn kicks, front kicks, and check kicks. In the back of my head I felt really great for not trying to overcomplicate my combos with spins and jumps, and once or twice I could just move around someone throwing an aerial kick and just smack them in the teeth with a nice simple turn kick. This worked equally as well against me; once or twice a kick would be hidden by the spin it was in and get me real good.

My summary; I did okay. I need to work on my skill, need to work on my speed, and I definitely need to work on my movement, guard, and counter kicks. But it went about as well as I expected. 

Edit; energy. I was lighter than I had ever fought before and hadn’t slept too much the previous night and I really felt it. My legs felt sluggish and I felt more pathetic than I had been before. Next time I fight I need to lose the weight much more in advance of my fight so my body can get used to having very little energy.

These kind of summaries are good to work on for any kind of fighter after their fights to look at what they need to improve. My advice to anyone is always self reflect. It’s okay to praise yourself, too - if there was something you were good at, then acknowledge that it worked. But by the same token, accept criticism and think critically about what didn’t work and how to change that.