Wits Tang Soo Do competitors won 10 medals at the National All-styles Championships held in Vanderbjilpark on Saturday, April 5.
Kim Lucas, B.Com student and chairman of the club, explained that the seven competitors performed well and a few of them are possible candidates for the world championships to be held in September. The TAFISA All-styles Championships served as a qualifier for the world championships. According to Lucas, generally, whoever gets gold qualifies for the world championships but results will be confirmed at a later date.
I get to beat people up! Just kidding … It’s a martial art and I need discipline and the fitness.
Ipeleng Malope, 4th year Chemical Engineering student won three medals. He received two bronze medals and a silver for sparring (fighting). When asked why he chose to do Tang Soo Do, Malope said, “Because I get to beat people up! Just kidding … It’s a martial art and I need discipline and the fitness [the training provides].”
Lucas received gold and silver medals. Team members Robert Makoloane received gold, Ngwato Kekana received silver and Lushan Sundram received two bronze medals. Instructor Tommie Strydom received silver.
Lessons in martial arts
Tang Soo Do is a traditional Korean martial art, modified to incorporate modern techniques like kicking, boxing pressure points and grappling. The group is trained by Master Gregory Hart and Tommie Strydom, both black belts in the sport. The club is small, and has about 40 active members, mostly male.
The group is currently training for the South African Champions. Lucas said that having trained for three years, older students often know what to expect from competitions and always help and guide new competitors. Malope said to prepare, “do your forms over and over again, if you don’t practice it won’t help.”
The South African Championships will be held on Saturday, April 12 at Old Mutual sports hall from 7am to 5pm. It is the main event of the year and people come from across the country to compete.
This article was featured in the Wits Vuvuzela