It's over for another year. Three big days of Taekwondo action for the Australian National Championships in Bendigo. There were many winners on the weekend and unfortunately loser as well. Although the big winners would be all the participant, families and Australian Taekwondo.
Chloe Borg from Global Martial Arts
Day one was the coloured belt sparring divisions, a massive day for many families who have travelled from all over Australia to watch their kids become National Champions.
William Richardson Whiteways Taekwondo
Riley Byrne - Elite Martial Arts
I had a chance to shoot the last few hours of the coloured belt finals. Finishing Day 1 of the Australian Taekwondo Nationals with a fantastic final between Riley Byrne from Elite Martial Arts and William Richardson Whiteways Taekwondo in S.A.. Riley in the blue winning the final after 3 close rounds.
Day two started nice and early with all the Black Belts Sparring for the chance to be the best in Australia. 6 Courts were jam packed with competitors ready to win gold. You could see amazing Martial arts skills from the young competitors. Throwing everything they had to win the fights.
Clubs from all over Australia travelled to this massive event. Chloe Skey from Port Stephens Taekwondo was glad she made the journey to Bendigo, Winning the Gold Medal in the 10 - 11 years 31/34 kg division. You can see the great relationship that she has with her coach and the love she has of the sport.
Chloe Skey from Port Stephens Taekwondo
Emotions were running high as competitors were putting everything they had for three tough rounds, a lot of the time having to go to a fourth golden point round. Where the first point scored wins the Gold medal. For a young teenagers and the families this can be an amazing experience.
Aiden Stilley from HALLS Taekwondo winning Gold in the 10-11 yrs 46/50 kg Division
It was amazing to see the great relationship the coaches have with their athletes. The coaching staff from all the clubs have worked hard to prepare for this event. Not only having to train one fighter, having to be there for the entire team.
It was a big day on Day 2 of the Nationals, as the last fight did not finish until 10.30pm that night. Fighters using up all their energy trying to not lose points. New rules and scoring had come in recently, deductions were scored more. So going out or falling over would be penalised higher. Meaning the difference in winning or losing.
Monique Britos from MAS scoring a lot of her points by forcing her opponent out of the court
Ben Camua from Prodigy Martial Arts sacrificing one point falling to gain a three point head kick.
A big thank you to the referees and judges on the day. Many times putting their bodies on the line to keep the fight safe and even.
Competition on day three was the chance to be National champion in Poomsae (Traditional Routines) and Freestyle Routines. The day opened with a magical performance of the Traditional Poomsae 'Jitea'. This group of people may be from different clubs, although being long time friends, they have all trained hard together to show everyone the amazing art and beauty of Traditional Taekwondo.
After this performance an award was presented to Bronwyn Butterworth and Barry Jordan for the recognition of their World Championship Gold Medals at the 2016 World Poomsae Championships in Lima, Peru. Presented by Jack Rozinszky.
The day continued with 4 courts of Junior Martial artists performing the Poomsae routines. Many kids in each divisions, any more than eight in a division had to go to a second round of qualifications.
It was great to see that the sport of Taekwondo was not only for the the kids, as there were Poomsae divisions for families to be able to compete together.
A competitor I have seen before and love his enthusiasm is Jack Arrah from ATI W.A, Jack competed in the Para - Poomsae event and was fantastic. His bubbly personalty and his passion for Taekwondo was amazing. Awesome to see.
Jack Arrah and Coach from ATI W.A
Half way through the day the Freestyle Poomsae divisions started. I had a chance to photograph 10 year old, Harrison Benn from Australian Martial Arts Academy. Harrison won the gold medal in this division. His performance consisted of 540's, flying side kicks and to top it off...a massive running back flip. Amazing to watch, a direction that Taekwondo competitions are going to make them more entertaining to watch and compete.
Harrison Benn from Australian Martial Arts Academy
At the end of the day the Junior and Senior Black belts finals were amazing to watch. Both the men and women division were very competitive.
Even though the competition is high, these events are an amazing opportunity to create new friends across the continent and across the world.
Annette Thompson from ACT and Sarah Upton from WA
The Australian Taekwondo Nationals was a fantastic event to have the opportunity to photograph. I had a chance to meet some amazing people and amazing competitors. If you would like to view the albums that I have created of this event, please press the link below and look under the three albums of DEAN THOMPSON PHOTOGRAPHY.
Thank you again Australian Taekwondo and I hope I will see everyone again at the next event.