October 04, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

This year the Australian Taekwondo National Championships were held at the new multi million dollar sports stadium in Bendigo Victoria.  The new sports stadium was a fantastic upgrade from last year, with tiered seating for spectator viewing and large open areas to fit the 6 full size competition mats. 


The first day of the competition started with all the judges, officials and volunteers madly setting up the corner cameras, computers and DEADO scoring systems for the days Coloured belt sparring. 

The day was full of up and downs for all blue and red belt sparrers.  All fighters showing off their martial arts skills that they have trained hard for all year.

It was amazing to see the encouragement from all the coaches towards their students.  High fives were always given and  comforting words to the very nervous athletes. Many of them fighting in the Nationals for the first time

Hassan Iskandar was very proud to present Steven Currie, The Dual World Para champion an award from Australian Taekwondo for his accomplishments in the sport o f Taekwondo.  Steven Currie also accepted a very generous donation of $11,000 from the Director of AUSTRALEX,
Mahmoud Mearbany. a donation that will go towards the Australian Para-athletes for the preparation to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

The fighting continued late into the afternoon,  where the loud cheering from the support teams would sometimes bring a fighter back to win in the final seconds.



Day 2 started with the Referees, Coaches and Athletes reading out the Sporting oath and everyone standing for the Australian National Anthem.

Then the Black Belt fights began.... 

To make the competition more interesting the point scoring system had changed since last year.  Points were scored for falling over or leaving the mats, so any faults made on the mat were quickly points gained for your opposition. Sometimes gaining 4 points although losing one for falling.  

Also many points were scored from punches this year.  Many screams could be heard from fighters grabbing the referees attention with an aggressive punch to the chest guard.

Mid morning Day 2,  I had the opportunity to capture the amazing Poomsae routines of the Blackbelts vying for a position in the Australian team to compete at the WORLD TAEKWONDO CHAMPIONSHIPS in Chinese Taipei.  The timing, flexibility and power of the teams was incredible.

The competition for the individual Poomsae champion was so close.  Sometimes only .01 points between the winner and the next competitor. 


That afternoon after the Poomsae World selections were over, I headed back to the main arena to continue shooting the Senior Blackbelt sparrers competing.  A long day for many where sometimes their first fight would not be until late in the day.  

With head kick and spinning kicks scoring extra points many fighters showing off their martial art talents.  Fighters who was throwing everything they had to try to get the points back in the final seconds..  

Great to see all the competitors over the weekend, unfortunately not having much time to stop and congratulate them on their performances.

The last fight of the day finished around 10.30pm that night,  where many supporters had gone back to their hotel room to rest for the next day of supporting and competing.  For the final fighters it had been a long day putting everything they had into competing in the finals to become National Champion.

The overwhelming feeling of exciting and exhaustion after the big day when the fighter realises they are NATIONAL CHAMPION!!



Day 3 was the last day of the Australian National Championships, where the Bendigo sports stadium hosted the Taekwondo Poomsae events,  these events started with the family Poomsea divisions.  This was great to see, as last year many of these families had competed and had improved so much.  


Sitting in the middle of the 6 mats that had all the action happening I tried to capture as much as I could.  Every mat the athletes showing great strength and flexibility.  Many of the competitors competing for the first time, showing their nerves as they would try not to forget their routine.


It was fantastic to see such a large range of competitors at these championships,  the shortest to the tallest....  The youngest to the oldest..

While the Poomsae events were being run, one of the courts was showing the skills of a freesttyle and creative Poomsae,  A different side of Poomsae that still had a certain amount of martial arts criteria with an addition of backflips, side kicks and so much more.  Very entertaining to watch.

Board breaking was an event that showed intense strength and focus.  Many competitors pushing themselves to break though more boards and reaching personal best results.

On this court, the self defence routines were being judged.  A combination of martial arts skills were used by the athlete to defend themselves against knife attacks, throat chokes and anything else the attacker would throw at them

A massive thank you to all the judges, officials and volunteers who have made this Nationals such a success.  Without out the help from all these guys these events can not be held.

Another massive National Championships that I have had the pleasure in photographing.  Thank you Australian Taekwondo for the opportunity to capture these special moments for everyone. 

More photos can be viewed by either clicking on each photo or pressing this link below.

GEOSNAPSHOT - DTP Dean Thompson Photography


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