Top martial artists get their kicks in Greenock
PUNCHING POWER: Ellis Graham (MMA Paisley) versus Mitchell Harkin (1 TKD Irvine).
GETTING THEIR KICKS: David Martin (Kirkintilloch Kickboxing), Stephen Cox and Graham Scholte (both from Kickback) were all winners.
GREENOCK'S premier martial arts centre Kickback Martial Arts at George Square, Nelson Street, and Kilblain Street, Greenock held its first Open Martial Arts Tournament on Saturday.
Crowds of fighters and spectators came along from all over Scotland to participate in the tournament - coming from as far afield as Irvine and beyond Glasgow.
The doors opened sharply at 8am for the registration and weigh-in to around 150 competitors of kung fu, karate, tae kwon do and kickboxing styles as well as many, many spectators of all ages.
The event was sanctioned, refereed and judged by the WKA Scotland (World Kickboxing Association) using rules of points fighting, semi-contact and team semi contact also. There was also a 'forms, patterns and kata' category for those who wanted to show their prowess in fighting movements, either done solo or to music.
All in all there were 75 categories going through the many weight and age divisions for both male and female. For each category there were 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies on offer and they were being won left, right and centre - with three fight areas on the go at the same time.
The categories were underway in the 'points fighting' division first with the commencement of the kids section, when those as young as six had a go at competing for a trophy. Boys and girls fought over a minute collecting points on the way, as they showed skill with devastating punches and kicks.Even those who had fought for the first time were top class in their efforts and many of them surprised themselves, winning some heavily-contested battles to come out on top.
'Point Fighting' is where the referee will stop the fight when a point or points are scored on a fighter. Don't underestimate the fighting category as this is probably the hardest and fastest division to be in. The main objective is to score the points with skill, speed and accuracy whilst maintaining superior control over your emotions as well as your technical abilities before your opponent does.
The boys and girls showed heart and strength in technique and skill with several of the trophies going to Kickbacks' own students from the kung fu and kickboxing styles but, one of the main clubs who brought most competitors and spectators along was 1-TKD tae kwon do school from Irvine.
This Ayrshire-based club is a regular visitor to tournaments every weekend all over the UK and as such they won many of the categories hands down.
There were clubs from all over the west coast of Scotland in attendance but alas very few from Inverclyde itself, even though they were all invited along.
Following on from the points fighting came the semi-contact (continuous) fighting which is still fighting for points but is a continuous bout and a clicker system is used to count the points each competitor gains.
The fights were strong and fierce, with high powerful kicks and devastating punches. This time the strongest fighters were the WOSKF, West of Scotland Kung fu from Dunbartonshire, and Irvine's 1-TKD who dominated most of the male categories along with Kickback's Kung fu and Kickboxing, MMA Paisley McLachlans Martial Arts Paisley kickboxing and tae kwon do, Kirkintilloch tickboxing, Kirky tae kwon do and Paisley south TKD.
During this category, the teams were selected for their event and there were three and five person groups entered from all schools.
Each team battled their way through one fight after another and the most dominant team were again 1-TKD, the seasoned experts from Irvine, as the spectators shouted and supported their fighters on, the atmosphere was immense and with everyone in attendance really enjoyed their first experience of fighting at Kickback with splendid facilities and exceptional hospitality in a well-run tournament.
The event was such a great success that the next event is expected to be held sometime in September or November.
Kickback is the largest and most well kitted out Martial arts gym in Scotland with a following of around 150 or so students through many different disciplines like kung fu, kickboxing, MMA team mongoose, MMA team viper, Muay Thai, jujitsu & Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), judo, boxing, tai chi, kettlebells as well as other fitness-based classes.
Kickback is to introduce two new kickboxing classes this week and an all womens' kickboxing class, the Inverclyde Amazons.
This article appeared in Greenock Telegraph 20 Jun 12