Published in Vuvuzela 14th Edition

Wits Tang Soo Do club brought home 20 medals from competing in the Free State Championships  held in Bloemfontein last weekend.

The Korean martial arts club participated in the tournament alongside four other clubs from Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Nelspruit and Randfontein.

“If you don’t train hard it’s not going to become muscle memory,” said Ané van der Merwe, co-chairperson of Tang Soo Do (TSD) club, at the team’s fitness session on Tuesday evening.

“Core stabilisation is essential for the [Tang Soo Do] fighting form, so we need to do as much of this sort of fitness as we can. That’s where all the power in our kicks comes from.”

Kathrijn Thys, the other co-chair said: “We try to participate in as many competitions as we can. It’s really important to participate in these events. At Bloem, five of our students won 20 medals together.”

There were two categories  the students could compete in.  The first was TSD, which involves sparring as well as tests of form. The second involves a separate fighting style using a Korean sword called Haedong Kumdo (HK).

Van der Merwe won five medals (two for HK and three for TSD) and walked away with the award for HK senior participant of the day.

Other Witsies who were part of the club’s trophy haul were Zama Mbambo (two medals for HK and three for TSD), Titus Masike (three medals  for TSD), Ngwato Kekana (two medals  for TSD).

Ranking with a medal position in this tournament also meets one of the requirements for students hoping to compete in the World Tang Soo Do Championships to be held next year. Thys, Van der Merwe and Masike could qualify since they won additional medals at the SA Champs in March.

Commenting on the club’s success, Thys, who was awarded  five medals (two for HK and three for TSD), said: “We have done very well this year with us competing well and having a large number of members join.

“Just last Tuesday and Thursday we had our club’s grading when a number of our white belts advanced to purple. Hopefully we can compete for Club of the Year again, which we won in 2010.”

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