• Zac Walton

Weekend at the Welsh Open

The ITF Wales Open Championships took place this weekend and we drove down to Cardiff to take part. On a personal note, it's my first competition since the English Open last March. Whilst I've missed a lot of training over the last few months of last year, I've been working a lot on my technique and combinations in the last couple weeks.

This weekend started with a 07:30am depart for a 5-hour drive to Wales, arriving with enough time to explore for a few hours. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't great so most of our time was spent walking around St David's shopping centre. We stayed at the Park Inn outside of the City. I've come to notice I'm more competitive with the buffet breakfast than I am the actual competition. I was capable of moving after this breakfast, which is more that can be said for the English.

We left for the comp at 9am but as is convention, the kids compete first, meaning we didn't even start warming up until lunch. Having said that, all the various exploits I get involved with seem to involve hours of idle waiting, so I don't have any complaints. I spent the whole morning practicing Do-San, the green belt pattern, since I haven't learnt my current Pattern (Wan Hyo) in its entirety. Having spent several hours solidifying my hand movements, my name was called up and I performed my pattern, kicking with the wrong legs... If it wasn't for that obvious mistake I may have gained a second medal.

As for sparring, I won bronze. I'm not overly impressed with the outcome since I could of done better. Unfortunately, there were an odd number of competitors which meant I had an extra match to everyone else. But I finally won a medal. Hopefully next time I can set my sights on first place.

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