The Eastern Cape’s elite martial artists fought it out in the action-packed Korean Martial Arts Taekwondo tournament at the Fairview Sports Centre at the weekend.
The competition kicked off with the intermediate heavyweight men’s division, where competitors from Despatch Dragons Dojo and Rhodes University Dojo fought for top position and an opportunity to be in the team to represent the province at the national championships.
They competed in a series of taekwondo, mid-air kicking and power breaking disciplines.
Cleyvon Frank, who hails from the Despatch Dojo, scooped five gold medals in the senior advanced men’s division.
Rhodes University’s Benjamin Miller received a silver medal in the senior men’s heavyweight taekwondo.
First-time contender Sibulelo Ntozane made his mark in the men’s divisions and walked away with a silver medal.
The juniors participated in an array of patterns and special techniques, where experienced Brandon van Jaarsveld and Kalinka Vermaak won gold medals.
Eastern Province Taekwondo official and tournament organiser Gerd Hummel said: “I saw a lot of good skills beings showcased today, while I was refereeing and judging the contenders.
“I am impressed that the clubs were prepared and put on a competition of a high standard.
“There is, however, a lot of room for improvement and hard work that needs to be done as we gear up for the national championships.”
Despatch Dragons Dojo student Frank said: “This was a great platform for us to display our techniques and the hard work we had put into them.
“The guys here take this craft very seriously and I hope the junior competitors can learn from us.
“They can see what we do here in the competitions is sometimes a true reflection of what happens in reality, where one is forced to use martial arts as a form of defence, while adopting all the rules on discipline that come with it.”
Miller, who has hopes of being awarded his black belt and making the national team, said: “I always like fighting with black-belt contenders in the intermediate heavy division while I am still a white belt.
“The tough competition prepares me to be stronger in my quest.”
The tournament also used the opportunity to crown last year’s Chang Hon Ryu champions in the final day’s award ceremony.
A team of 15 martial artists will be selected this week to participate in the South African Championships to be held in Potchefstroom in August.