On Sunday 4th December Dorset Taekwondo Assc took a team of 10 to the LMC Sparring Competition in Southampton. This was the first open sparring competition in the South for many years. There were approximately 400 fighters from all over the country.

Our team (Harry, Vesco, Inara, Sean, Tom, Cassidy, Oli, Hamza, Atilla, Myles) consisted of young and old; first timers and experienced medallists.

Master Naraine as chief referee for the competition and therefore coach Jon B stepped up to support the team.
The advanced category were on (KP&P) electronic body protection, whilst the novices were on manual scoring. This was the first time for most of the team fighting under the new “Best of Three” systems and there was little time to settle in, with fast action matches.

Vesco and Harry started the matches in the same junior novice weight category. Both against taller opponents gave it their all. Harry fought particularly well progressing through his first match to the quarter finals where after a great comeback to win round 2, he was narrowly beaten in round 3 to win a Bronze.

There is too many stories to recount – many of the matches are on video – I’m sure the team will share them with you if you ask.
The highlight was Hamza winning 2 matches to take a gold in the Veteran +80kg category beating a couple of well known fighters. Hamza made light work of both of them out pointing them in 2 rounds. Hamza won his first medal for Dorset Taekwondo in around 2009 when he lost to the GB Olympic Medallist Lutalo Muhammad.
The (growing) team are looking forward to more competition in 2023. We will also look to host some sparring days with other local clubs so we can gain experience on home soil before travelling further afield.
(Click on a photo to enlarge)