Martial arts clubs offer self-defense classes at Wits
Wits martial arts are offering free self-defense classes for the community.
Wits martial arts are offering free self-defense classes for the community.
Wits Tang Soo Do impressed with their performance at the World Championships
Eight Wits students are joining the South African Tang Soo Do team in London
Two Wits sportswomen awarded Sportswoman of the Year and Disable Sportswoman of the Year at Gauteng Sports Awards.
Water polo and martial arts were amongst the winners at the Wits Sports Awards on Wednesday morning. (more…)
There was not much to fault in the performance of the Wits Tang Soo Do team at the South African Championships held at Wits this past weekend. 9 members of the team walked away with an impressive 20 medals among them.
The team of 13 attributed their success to their instructor, Master Gregory Hart. “He (Hart) always expects us to win. He trains us hard. He trains us to be the best and that is what he expects and that’s what we produce,” said Kim Lucas, chairperson of the club.
[pullquote]“You don’t really notice pain when there’s adrenaline flowing through your veins,”[/pullquote]
Lucas received two silver medals and a gold, but suffered a nasty bash to his hand during one of the sparring (fighting) events, “Someone bashed my finger with a sword.” But he did not notice until the fight was over, “You don’t really notice pain when there’s adrenaline flowing through your veins,” he said. Generally a fight is stopped when there is an injury.
Other team members were lucky to win without any injuries.
Ipeleng Malope took five medals alone. A silver, two bronze and two gold medals. He said he was not intimidated during the competition, especially during the sparring (fighting). “If you feel intimidated, that’s when you lose,” he said.
Shakira Minty won a bronze medal for sparring in only her second tournament.
Other team members who performed well include Robert Makoloane who took two silver medals, Mlami Ncontsa and Candice Lockyear both won silver medals, while Trisha Rajkumar took both a gold medal and bronze medals. Ngwato Kekana received a gold and bronze medals while Kurtis Kavila received two gold medals and a bronze.
The team is now preparing for the next national championships, to be held in Bloemfontein on May 31.
Members of the Wits Korean martial art, Tang Soo Do, are slaving away in preparation for the South African Championships to be held tomorrow, Saturday, at Old Mutual Sports Hall.
The Tang Soo Do South African Championships is the main event of the year for this martial art, and competitors come from across the country to participate. There are three national tournaments a year, one at Wits and others are held later in the year in Bloemfontein and Nelspruit, according to Titus Masike, vice-chairperson of the club.
Traditional martial art
Tang Soo Do combines traditional Korean martial arts and modern techniques of self-defence such kicking and boxing.
Last year the Wits team excelled, collecting 24 medals in total. Three members qualified for the World Championships and returned with eight medals. Masike said: “[Tang Soo Do] is the best performing martial art club at Wits probably. It is not well-known so we don’t get as much funding as we would like to.” Last weekend the team won 10 medals at the All-styles championships where they competed against Karate and Taekwando style teams.
[pullquote] “Use your mind to push through the limits of your body, to push through the pain and carry on”. [/pullquote]
Masike emphasised the importance of practising forms and stances, working on fitness, cardio and sparring (fighting). He said Tang Soo Do was strategic, “You need to think. It’s not just about overpowering [your opponent].” He said martial arts involved teaching the mind. “Use your mind to push through the limits of your body, to push through the pain and carry on”.
Practice makes perfect
Fitness is one of the key things the members are working on for Saturday. Member of the team, Shakira Minty, an Accounting student, said she was making sure that her fitness was at an acceptable level and that she was physically ready.
To handle the stress of the approaching competition, Kim Lucas, the chairperson of the club said: “A lot of us have been competing for a while so we know what to expect, but for the new people we help them a lot; we make sure they train properly and help them with anything they need”.
Nerves of steel
As for pre-competition nerves, Masike said: “At first, when you are about to get punched, you flinch. It takes a long time to get use to it before you stop [flinching].” Minty said: “Turn nervousness into excitement. Take the nervous energy and tell yourself you are excited. Nerves are normal, they are good.”
The team is positive about the competition. Ngwato Kekana, a Wits graduate has been part of the club the longest. He said: “It’s like any other tournament, just get ready for it.” Lushan Sandrum started competing this year and said: “I’m nervous but excited. There’s nothing not to be excited about.” Robert Makoloane, who use to do Karate before joining Tang Soo Do six months ago said, “I am confident, especially because I got a gold medal in my first Tang Soo Do contest [last weekend].” Their confidence is not unfounded, as proven in the past, the Wits team generally performs well, according to Lucas.
The Wits Tang Soo Do came away with 10 medals at the national all-styles championships in Vanderbjilpark last weekend.
The outstanding performance of the team means that a few of them are now eligible for the world championships in September this year.
Kim Lucas, B.Com student and chairman of the club, explained that competitors who win a gold medal qualify for the world championships but the results are still be to be confirmed.
Ipeleng Malope, 4th year Chemical Engineering, won three medals, one of which was a silver for sparring (fighting). When Wits Vuvuzela asked him why he chose Tang Soo Do as a sport, Malope said, “Because I get to beat people up! Just kidding … It’s a martial art and I need discipline and the fitness [the training provides].”
[pullquote]”Tang Soo Do is a traditional Korean martial art, modified to incorporate modern techniques”[/pullquote]
Lucas won gold and silver medals. Team members Robert Makoloane received gold, Ngwato Kekana walked away with a silver and Lushan Sundram received two bronze medals. Team instructor, and one of the competitors, Tommie Strydom received silver.
Tang Soo Do is a traditional Korean martial art, modified to incorporate modern techniques like kicking, boxing pressure points and grappling. The group is trained by master Gregory Hart and Tommie Strydom, both black belts in the sport. The club is still quite small, and has about 40 active members.
The group is presently training for the South African Championships which takes place on Saturday, March 12 at Old Mutual Sports Hall from 7am to 5pm.
THE WITS Tang Soo Do club were the dominant contenders in a national championship in Bloemfontein recently when they snatched 23 medals and won the tournament overall.
Tang Soo Do is a Korean martial art which involves hand and kicking techniques similar to taekwondo.
The team were among 150 participants and, according to Wits Tang Soo Do coach, Gregory Hart, it was “competitive with strong guys”. “There were 20 people in each category, age and belt levels and the competition standards were high.”[pullquote]“It really is a great achievement”[/pullquote]
Wits brought home 23 medals in total. Three bronze and three silvers as a team; four individuals won gold medals, five won silver and eight bagged bronze.
“It really is a great achievement. It’s quite a good return on investment. They all did very well,” said Hart.
Wits Tang Soo Do club member Titus Masike said the team’s performance in Bloemfontein was successful, but further acknowledged they could have done better.“We don’t have a lot of gold [medals], but we would love to have a lot of gold come through.”
At the South African championships in February, six club members qualified to compete in the world championships in the Netherlands in October. However, only three are going because of the cost involved.
Hart said in order to qualify for the world championships, individuals had to win a gold medal at the SA Champs. The three who are going will be sent to a training camp in Nelspruit, in July, where they will be put through a series of tests.
Hart said the main challenges the club faced were team members balancing their academic studies and commitment to the sport. However, Hart said the Tang Soo Do club at Wits was growing and people were finding interest in the club.
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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