This year’s Taekwon-Do European Championships were organized for the 29th time for seniors and 20th time for junior competitorss. The host was the mediterranean country of Italy. The event took place in Riccione on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. The sports hall of Riccione called Playhall was built a few years ago, its fresh atmosphere gave the competition quite a positive spirit.
The Euros - unlike in the previous years - took four days instead of three. The wider time frame gave the umpires and the competitors enough time to rest and refresh between the events. Many countries and teams have already expressed their gratitude for this extra time to relax and for the high level of organization: all the events have started when they were supposed to start.
The Opening Ceremony took place on Wednesday evening at the event venue. It started unusually late but it was worth staying up. The highlight of the opening was the unexpected sparring match between two living Taekwon-do legends: Stephen Tapilatu from Netherlands and Toma Barada from Slovenia. Both athletes were winnig the World Champions Titles and used to compete agains each other in the past.
There was not only a competition held in Riccione. On Thursday Evening 24th April 2014 in VIP Hotel Ambasciatori took place the AETF Congress. After the presidential and financial reports the main subject was the following years’ European Championships and Cups - the delegates discussed the Championships between 2016 and 2018, and the Cups between 2015 and 2017.
On the event there were 63 categories this year and we have seen so many amazing performances by all the teams. It makes really hard to choose a few events to highlight.
One of the most spectacular events were the senior male individual pattern 4-6 dan where Mr. Jarosław Suska - the multi World and European Champion - has retired from competition. Everyone was curious who could take his place this year - and we have had several exceptional athletes competing for his place on the top of the podium. From 20 competitors at the end the French competitor Mr Lylian Doulay have succeeded to take the gold.
Another great performance was shown at the junior traditional sparring where the Hungarian team won the category with an excellent routine. Traditional sparring is not just about showing a good performance, but you have to show that your program is better than others.
They have made to the final for the final match against the Spanish team, but not even they were able to take the gold from them. The Italians have uploaded a video of their perfomance with the adjective “spettacolo” (in English: spectacular) and we can see the video shared by many instructors and masters around the world.
We saw a lot of different sparring levels. A few of the categories were decided without doubt: a few competitors have shown of their high level of fighting skills that even the finals were decided with a marked difference. But we have seen many even final matches - like the match for the first place at the juniors -62 kgs individual male sparring. The last match between Timothy Bos, the Italian's young star and Ryan Shelley, the Irish young warrior was not easily decided: the tides have changed many times during the normal match time, the result after 2 rounds was a tight, but finally Ryan has won the exceptionally heated match.
We should also mention the breaking categories where a lot of competitors have shown their best form. In senior male team power breaking three teams were able to break all boards prepared for the main round. Finally Poland took the gold here. In senior female team power breaking category where Germany was fighting for the first place with Poland. The Polish team was able to win the shiniest medal. In individuals for junior girls we should mention the young Alicia Romero (Hungary) who was the only one able to break all boards set for the main round. Alicia was the last to break her boards, everyone else at the main round were able to break the sonkal and the dollyo - in total 6 points, but no one was able to break the two boards set for the yopcha jirugi - except Alicia. She broke the sonkal, then the yopcha jirugi. At the end she tried to break the last board - with success, and so as the only junior female competitor breaking all boards she won the category flawlessly.
Of course we cannot cover all the categories as there were so many exceptional ones. There were no official video recordings of the event, however there is a list of videos made by spectators put together on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXMYI_LBmGk&list=PLlaguH2q-Qg0CxS99a_yT6CDWByPw4HRJ
(If you know more videos on youtube about this event which is not listed here please contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org).
There was a medal awarding ceremony after each session which was highly appraciate by all participants.
On the invitation of GM Willem Jacob Bos - the Chairman of the Organizing Committee - in the Euros 2014 took part special guests: Grand Master Pablo Trajtenberg - President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation, Grand Master Hector Marano - Chairman of the ITF Technical Instruction Committee, and President FETRA Argentina - one of the most numourous Taekwon-Do federations in World as well as Master Juan Ferrando - ITF Secretary General. All three assited by Masters from other countries did the honours by the awarding ceremony while giving the medals to the winners.
The presence at the championships of GM Trajtenberg and GM Marano, who togheter with GM William Jacob Bos wrote a book "The Art of Taekwon-Do ITF" was a great opportunity for participants to get the autographs of all three authors.
The final overall standing was decided based on the number of the medals won. For the twenty second time Poland took the throne gaining 22 gold medals, 18 silver and 11 bronze ones.
See overall medal table for countries: 132.Medal Classification for Countries.pdf.
The best junior and senior competitors and also the best junior and senior teams were awarded with a cup.
The official results can be found at http://euro2014.pztkd.pl under the Reports (results of the categories) and Other Reports (Overall repors - see Classifications) tab.
High quality photographs taken at the event are available on the following websites:
Photos by Master Jerzy Jedut at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10203596726058539.1073741855.1227275925&type=1Photos
by Carmel Horowitz at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.459242997543897.1073741856.187232104744989&type=1Photos
by Norbert Érseki - AETF Reporter at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152392447693554.1073741840.754348553&type=1&l=d7280e9b1d
Don't forget: the next AETF event will be the European Cup in October, later this year in Hungary, Budapest, and the next European Championships will be held also in October, 2015 in Scotland. See you there!
Report by Norbert Érseki (AETF Reporter)
Source: AETF Website www.itfeurope.org...Read more
On the 26th April 2014 the first ITF Austria Kids Event was held, a tournament designed to give children aged 10 and under from 10th Kup to 8th Kup their first competitive experience in Taekwon-Do. 30 children from 5 different clubs took part in this event and great fun was had by all participants, officials and enthusiastic parents.
Contrary to common Taekwon-Do tournaments, the Kids Event not only offered traditional categories, but some new ones as well, specifically designed for children. Besides pattern and special technique competitions, there were also kicking technique divisions, in which the children had to display their ability to perform both Ap Cha Busigi and Yop Cha Jirugi.
The special technique categories went down very well with the children and spirits were high as they cheered each other on whilst performing Twimyo Nopi Ap Cha Busigi and Twimyo Nopi Yop Cha Jirugi.
Highlight of the tournament, without a doubt, were the "Gladiator" matches, in which the children had to knock their opponents off a balancing beam with a pugil stick, all while maintaining their own balance.
Also departing from the traditional procedure, the prizes were not trophies and medals, but stars which could be sewn onto the dobok sleeve, coloured according to the "medal" the children won. No one was left out, as even those unlucky to win a place on the podium were also given a star for their doboks, coloured black. Our tiger mascot was there to celebrate with all of them during the award ceremony.
The first Kids Event was a full success and well received by children and parents alike. Special thanks are given to Christina Mechacek III. Degree (head of Kids Training Program), who created this event and, with her members (Wim de Graeve and Christopher Nord) and volunteers, implemented it very professionally.
Photos of this event can be seen on the ITF Austria Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/itfaustria
ITF Austria would like to thank all competitors and contributors (helpers, umpires etc.) who helped make this event a big success.
At the invitation of Bulgarian Association of Taekwon-Do (BAT) and after official permission of the Technical Committee of ITF, Master Panagiotis Gialamas visited once again Bulgaria to conduct Black Belt exam and technical seminar.
The host of the grading test, which provided excellent conditions for this event, was 97 School in Sofia city - one of the strongest clubs of BAT with head coach Nikola Iliev. The exam was held on 11 of April 2014 and the applicants were seriously tested through all different aspects of Taekwon-Do – patterns, sparring, breaking techniques, self-defense and theory. It was very interesting and unusual the request of Master Gialamas for the sequence of board breaking and the theory questions was really impressive and not easy at all. All the participants in the exam will remember the 59-th birthday of Taekwon-Do with the successful promotion for higher degree:
On the next day, 12 April 2014, in Boris Gyuderov Sports hall, Pernik city (30 km away from Sofia) Master Gialamas conducted technical seminar in front of 65 participants with ranks 6 gup to IV dan. Main subject of the seminar was patterns – fundamental exercises, movements’ applications, and of course not only this. For all participants was very exciting and interesting to learn about different circumstances of the performance of the different movements, related to the Oriental history, history of Taekwon-Do and martial arts at all.
From the afternoon of 12 April in the same hall started the III Balkan Martial Sports Festival. In the Taekwon-Do ITF competition were included 183 participants from Greece, Serbia, FYROM and Bulgaria.
Children (6-13 years):
Juniors (14-17 years):
Seniors (18 years +)
Overall Final Standings:
BAT Secretary General...Read more
On April 21-22, 2014 the 29th ITF Taekwon-Do seminar was held in the Olympic building in Kabul City. Around 80 participants took part from several clubs with support of the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee. The purpose of the seminar was to train and to show the updated techniques of ITF Taekwon-Do to our members....Read more
My memory of the first tournament I attended as a Taekwon Do novice, about 10 years ago, is of a senior organiser reminding those students who were engaged in sparring, that although the aim was to win it was just as important to look after their opponents. This philosophy is the essence of good Taekwon Do wherever it is practiced. New Zealand has a great record for fostering the competitive side of Taekwon Do, with tournaments that cater to our youngest members through to our main National competition. In addition to the goodwill and camaraderie that these competitions engender, our tournaments provide the stepping stone for those students who wish to pursue more demanding High Performance competition (http://www.itkd.co.nz), culminating with international championship. Our tournaments begin at the Club level, moving through the Peewee Series (under 12 years of age), Under 18 Series, Regional Tournaments and The Nationals.
Autumn in New Zealand is the time when 83 clubs within the 6 main regions (5 in the North Island and one covering the entire South Island) conduct their tournaments (April 13 to May 31) (http://www.itkd.co.nz/events/tournaments/). Students that do well, whether they win Regional competition medals or not, can attend the New Zealand National Competition that this year will be held in Tauranga (east coast North Island).
Training to spar begins at the grass-roots level – our clubs. Our national Technical Advisor Group, has recently standardised the use of protective gear not only at tournaments but at gradings as well. The ruling has generated some interesting discussion in our community but the primary rationale is the national Taekwon Do organisation’s (ITFNZ) desire to develop a more consistent sparring style from club level right through to the World Champs. Only those techniques permitted in ITF tournaments can be used during free sparring at gradings (this applies to all ranks), rather than the ‘anything goes’ approach; the latter is reserved for self defence.
Article by Brian Ricketts...Read more