Tuesday, 14 October 2008

International Medal Haul for Surrey Martial Artists

The first Kuk Sool Won martial artists from Surrey to compete at the World Championships won 11 medals in Houston on the 11th and 12th October. There were over 1500 competitors from 36 different countries and the team won a total haul of 1 Gold, 3 Silver, 3 Bronze and 4 Copper (4th place) medals between them.
The Kuk Sool Won team flew into the USA on the Friday night and had to overcome jetlag immediately to compete in a variety of divisions of the Korean martial art over the weekend. In Traditional Forms, the martial artists from the Oxshott, New Malden and Claygate clubs had to demonstrate memorised sequences of hand strikes, kicks and blocks in front of a panel of international judges and in Techniques they demonstrated the effective application of self-defence techniques on a partner. They also competed against other opponents in bouts of sparring. Instructor James Barker, who was the 1st Dahn Black Belt Overall World Champion in 1999, also entered the sword, staff and wood breaking categories in the 3rd Dahn Black Belt Competition and officiated at the event.
Every student picked up at least one medal. The Gold medal was won by Stan Bannister from Bookham in the Traditional Forms division; he is now a World Champion at the age of 10. Stan also won Copper for Techniques. The youngest competitor in the team was Tallulah Bowden from Oxshott. At 6 years old it took a lot of courage for her to enter and she achieved a Copper medal in a fiercely contested sparring contest. The other medals winners were: Max Bowden – Silver for Sparring and Copper for Techniques; Phil Bowden – Silver for Techniques and Bronze for Traditional Forms; Alex Bowden – Bronze for Sparring and Copper for Techniques; Rabb Bannister – Silver for Traditional Forms and Bronze for Techniques. Alex and Rabb had each only been training for under one month and competed successfully as White Belts in the adult category.
Instructor James is so proud of all of his students. James said, “What they have achieved in their first World Championships, which for some of them is their first ever competition, is highly commendable. They have trained very hard in the lead-up to the event and have shown fantastic determination and bravery. Furthermore, they showed absolute respect for officials and competitors alike throughout the World Championships and are excellent role models and ambassadors for both club and country. Well Done! The hard work now continues as the next competition for the team is the English Tournament in Birmingham in November.”

James Barker runs classes in New Malden, Oxshott and Claygate and the clubs are now enrolling. Please call James on 07973 173892 (
kuksoolkid@yahoo.com) for more information.

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