Wits Tang Soo Do’s performance at the South African Championships was of the highest order on Saturday April 12 at Old Mutual Sports Hall.
Nine of the 13 competitors managed to lock 20 medals across the board. The team attributed their success to their instructor, Master Gregory Hart. “He (Hart) always expects us to win. He trains us hard. He trains us to be the best and that is what he expects and that’s what we produce,” said Kim Lucas, chairperson of the club.
Lucas received two silver medals and a gold, but suffered a nasty bash to his hand during one of the sparring (fighting) events, “Someone bashed my finger with a sword.” But he did not notice until the fight was over, “You don’t really notice pain when there’s adrenaline flowing through your veins,” he said. Generally a fight is stopped when there is an injury.
Other team members were lucky to win without incurring injuries.
If you feel intimidated, that’s when you lose.
Ipeleng Malope took five medals alone. A silver, two bronze and two gold medals. He said he was not intimidated during the competition, especially during the sparring (fighting). “If you feel intimidated, that’s when you lose,” he said.
Shakira Minty received a bronze medal for sparring. This was her second tournament and found it much easier to handle her nerves, “Last year I was nervous, this year, not so nervous.”
Other team members who performed well include Robert Makoloane who took two silver medals, Mlami Ncontsa received a silver medal, Candice Lockyear received a silver medal, Trisha Rajkumar took a gold medal and a bronze medal, Ngwato Kekana received a gold and bronze medals, Kurtis Kavila received two gold medals and a bronze.
The athletes agreed that it was a long day, and most opted to go home and sleep when the event was over. “It puts a lot of stress on your body. The next day I even struggled to get out of bed. It ends up being a full day physical activity,” said Lucas. Malope shared his sentiments, “I went home and slept, I was really tired.”
The team is preparing for the next national championships, to be held in Bloemfontein on May 31. The Tang Soo Do team hopes to send through a team of 12 people, “(We are) hoping to win and hoping to come back with lots of medals, again, as we always do,” said Lucas. At last year’s national championships held at Free State, “The team brought in the most number of medals we ever had, this time we will try to beat it.”
This article was featured in the Wits Vuvuzela