Monday, 28 December 2015

86. Taekwondo

Event: Taekwondo
Date: 9th December 2015
Location: Essex Taekwondo, Chelmsford
Cost: No charge.
Rules: Taekwondo is a traditional Korean martial art that combines combat and self defence techniques with sport and agility. The name means 'the way of kicking and punching'. The Olympic competition is held in four weight categories, each taking part within a ten metre square contest area. If an opponent strays outside the boundary line, the other gets a point. The aim is to land as many kicks and blows on your opponent within the allowed target areas. A contest last three rounds of two minutes each; separated by a one minute break. Victory is achieved through a knockout, gaining more points than your contestant or by default if the other player is disqualified. The Olympic competition takes the form of an elimination tournament.

The Event:

London 2012 Olympic Gold Medal:
Flyweight- Wu Jingyu, China
Lightweight- Jade Jones, UK
Middleweight- Hwang Kyung-Seon, South Korea
Heavyweight- Milica Mandic, Serbia 

Sarah: I'd been looking forward to this event since we started the Challenge. It's such an impressive sport to watch, with those amazing spins and kicks, but predictably my performance was far less gracious and agile than the pros. The club we joined had a really diverse range of ages and abilities, and during the class people rotated for exercises meaning everyone got a chance to spar with each other; something I'm sure helps to encourage and improve the younger or less experienced members. It was great to use some of our boxing knowledge, and learn the basic leg kicks and a couple of simple set pieces. I can definitely see the appeal of Taekwondo, and it's easily my favourite martial art of the Challenge.

Ellie: Our last Martial Art of the challenge certainly didn't disappoint. Tucked away in a little sports centre out of Chelmsford city centre; this is a really friendly and welcoming club. As Sarah says, all of the members get the opportunity to spar with other members of different abilities meaning the there is a really open learning environment and little segregation between ages and/or belts. I really noticed the balance between fun and discipline. It's an obviously technical sport with moves and routines to be mastered but this club has a pressure free atmosphere and it was really enjoyable. It's definitely a shame that we spent only one session with Essex Taekwondo and it would definitely be a sport to consider after our project concludes.  

Big thanks to Master Slater and all at Essex Taekwondo for being so welcoming!

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Bonus Event #4 - Squash

Event: Squash
Date: 13th November 2015
Location: Colchester Leisureworld
Cost: £6.20 per 45 minutes (Off-Peak)
Rules: Squash matches are held between two players and are the best of three games. Each game is a point scoring rally to 11. If the score is even at 10-10, a player must proceed to win by two clear points. Points can be scored by either player; when an opponent fails to serve or return the ball, the other player wins the point. The player that wins the point becomes (or remains) the server. The ball can only bounce a maximum of one time, and must be played within the lines. 


Game One:   E 11 v 7 S
Game Two:   E 7 v 11 S
Game Three: E 11 v 6 S
Winner: Ellie

Sarah: Squash has repeatedly just missed out on being voted in as an Olympic sport, which seems a little unfair on this fast-paced, exciting game. I've only played a handful of times but the rules are so simple, it's really quick to pick up and play a proper match. I was mainly focused on trying to keep track and return the ball, but tried to start playing tactically when I could. I can see how this fast becomes an addictive game. There's currently a campaign to get Squash on the 2020 list of sports; here's hoping it's successful.   

Ellie:  I love Squash; I should definitely play it more often. It's really satisfying to whack the ball off the back wall and rallies can be really exciting. Once we'd warmed up we really got some good games going and it really was a close fought match. I'm definitely hoping Squash makes it into the 2020 Olympics as it is a really good spectator sport too. Its quick pace and tendency to get super competitive/violent makes for excellent entertainment!