Six students from Alchemy Tang Soo Do Club led by Master Instructor Gregory Hart, attended the South African Korean Martial Arts National Competition held in Potchefstroom last month and earned an outstanding total of 19 medals and certificates.
This National Championship gathers athletes from across the country who train in all forms of different Korean martial arts. The Wits students practice in the art of Combat Tang Soo Do, a martial art famous for jumping, spinning and complex kicks in combination with powerful hand techniques that’s great for self defence and strength training.
Athletes competed in various divisions ranging from 6-year-old beginners to advanced adult black belts. They showed off their skills in different categories – namely traditional forms, weapons forms, point sparring, combat weapons sparring, continuous sparring and a new division – Free Sparring. After excelling in each of these categories Alchemy Tang Soo Do returned with an astounding 9 gold medals, 5 silver medals and 5 bronze medals.
This competition introduced the new sparring division, free sparring, an event aimed at showcasing the variety of specialized kicks present in Korean martial arts. While the other sparring divisions may devolve into boxing matches with few kicks, this separate event encourages athletes to make use of their spectacular kicks such as spinning 360°s, double kicks, and jumping kicks. The Alchemy black belts embraced this new division and earned 2 bronze certificates.
Braedon Hollingworth, 1st Dan, said it was a good idea to introduce a new division focusing on kicks because he often doesn’t have the chance to show off the complex kicks he learns as a black belt. He only hopes that the division will continue so that he has the opportunity to win gold next time. The next competition will be in September as the Alchemy Tang Soo Do students travel down to Nelspruit for the Ultimate Fighting Clash hosted by the Wolves Academy.
Results for Wits Tang Soo Do were as follows:
• Morné van der Merwe 35-45yrs Novice, silver for traditional forms, silver for weapons forms.
• Niané van der Merwe 12-14yrs Novice, bronze for points sparring, silver for combat weapons sparring, silver for continuous sparring.