30 January 2014

RMIT ITF Taekwon-Do Club excels in national championships

A team of 11 competitors and four instructors represented the RMIT ITF Taekwon-Do Club at the ITF Taekwon-Do National Championship in Wagga Wagga on 30 November and 1 December.

As the exam period had just finished, some of the team members had managed to juggle studying and training in the lead up to the tournament. There were 145 registered competitors coming from different corners of Australia, including Geraldton, Sydney, Goulburn and Melbourne.

The first day consisted of all individual events for patterns and sparring. Aeronautics student Jimmy Nguyen won the Club’s first medal of the day, finishing third in the senior male first dan black belt pattern division. Business student and current green belt holder Kidist Kiflemariam impressed with bronze in patterns and silver in sparring.

Accounting student and blue belt holder Shivarnee Sitsabasan was not to be outdone and won silver in patterns and bronze in sparring. Vlado Avramovski, in only his second competitive outing, followed suit and won bronze in his green belt pattern division.

RMIT alumni and current Club President Marc Chung won bronze in sparring after two tough fights with lively opponents. This was equalled by filmmaking graduate Mohammad Hossain Ahmadi who also won bronze in individual sparring in the middle weight division. New club member Becky Sypher, on her return to competition after a twelve-month hiatus, also won bronze in individual sparring.

Long-time club member and third dan black belt holder Cassandra White tenaciously fought her way to silver in sparring. The medal count for day one was wrapped up by third dan black belt holder Lucky Gamboa who won gold in individual patterns and bronze in sparring.

Day two consisted of all the team events, followed by board breaking or the power test as well as special techniques. RMIT’s female team fought hard and earned a third place finish in team sparring. Although the male team fought equally hard and gave their all, they were knocked out in the first round by the local Wagga Wagga team.

Both male and female teams did the club proud in team patterns but unfortunately lost out to very well-drilled competitors. In the power test, late entry Cassandra White smashed the boards on her way to a silver medal, breaking boards with her knifehand, turning kick and side-piercing kick.

Overall, the team brought back 14 medals, a lot of bruises and plenty of memorable moments from Wagga Wagga. The long road trip back to Melbourne gave the team the chance to reflect on their performance with the motivation to keep training hard and improving for the next tournament.

As the Club’s instructor Senior Master Robert Lai would always say, ‘Sometimes you win… but sometimes you learn’. It was indeed the learning part that should be embraced by martial artists who aspire to improve.

The RMIT ITF Taekwon-do Club is made up of students, staff, alumni and members of the public. New members are welcome at any time with no experience required.

For more information about the Club, go to RMIT ITF Taekwon-Do or RMIT Sport and Recreation.

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