Thursday 22 February 2007

Training - Thursday 22/02/07

Tonight Mr Pellow took the Dragon's Spirit Papatoetoe class together with the Auckland members of the NZ Juniors Team. You can feel the pride he has in his juniors in the way he described what they do in their training and what they have achieved. Near the end of the training he told them about the 128's that the juniors do at the end of each camp, after a day and a half of intensive training. (128's mean that you do 2x an exercise, then run across the hall, do 4x, then 8x, 16x, 32x, 64x, 128x. Then repeat with a different exercise - usually about 5 exercises in total - ouch!) Alisa then led the class in a set of 32's and you could see the strain on some of the club members faces. Mr Pellow explained that at the end of the last camp some of the junior members felt that 128's weren't enough of the last exercise and went on to do 256's.

Last was a demonstration of specialty with Cori executing a flying high kick and Jeremy a mid-air kick.

Check out the photos.

Tuesday 20 February 2007

Training goes up a notch

This week Mr Pellow's training sessions have gone up a notch with some impressive sparring performances in conjunction with a few invited guests. On Monday night Chris Broughton and Estee Speirs from Impact Taekwon-Do club joined the junior team for some valuable sparring training. Estee is also preparing for Canada but as part of the Senior team.

Check out the photos of Monday and Tuesday night's training sessions.

Saturday 17 February 2007

Training - Saturday 17/02/07

Today was our regular Saturday training. Due to Mr Pellow having a wedding to go to in the afternoon the training session was early, 9am-12pm. Johs, Callum and Sam were up at 4.30am to drive the 4 hours from Kaio to Auckland!

The team practiced sparring, power and girls team pattern.

They started with sparring drills focusing on reaction time and effective counter techniques moving on to 2 minute one-on-one free sparring rounds in the ring with the remainder of the team observing and scoring. Even during training with their mates, Mr Pellow has instilled the desire to win with various prizes for the loser. The 2 minute rounds were fought with an increasing intensity and desire to win, especially amongst the boys.

Check out a few of the better photos.

Training - Tuesday 13/02/07

Tonight Mr Pellow's training session had a special visitor, Master McPhail, who worked with some of the team members on their individual patterns.

After some intensive one-on-one pattern review sessions it was time for the the girls team patterns to come under his scrutiny. Master McPhail gave pointers and some useful techniques for the girls to use to draw their individual patterns to a common team style. The girls team have only been practicing their team pattern together for a few weeks and we can see that they are rapidly sharpening it. A couple more months and they will be awesome.

"Master McPhail spots every little fault", said Jeremy.

A regular visitor to our training sessions, Toni, who has been away for the last couple of weeks due to an injury said that she could see a marked rise in everyone's confidence in their sparring. The team's performance seems to be improving rapidly at the moment.

Sunday 11 February 2007

Taupo Camp - Sunday 11/02/07

I've just got a few minutes to post this before we all head off home.
This morning it was up at 7am and over to the gym for patterns practice at about 8am. The coaches had another 10 or so interviews to complete while this was going on.
Next up was power training; girls team patterns and sparring training for the rest of the team. The girls team patterns are coming along well and they performed them in front of the team at the end.
Last up was the usual 128's of pushups, situps, squats, turning kicks (keeping your knee up, half with each leg). Three of the team (Shane, Jeremy and Candice) decided a total of 254 turning kicks wasn't enough and went on to do an extra 256.
Mark Hanna impressed the coaches enough with his continued training and sparring on Saturday to be invited to join the team for individual sparring (hyperweight). That put a smile on his dial.
I took a few photos during the morning which are at the bottom of this gallery.

Saturday 10 February 2007

Taupo Camp - Junior World Champs team 10/02/07

Today is the start of the first Junior World Champs 2007 team camp at Taupo since the selections were made in December. The day started with breakfast at 7.30am and assembly in the gym at 8.00am.

Sparring was first on the agenda and this was no walk in the park. Each team member faced up to someone their senior; mostly coaches, management and other non-team members helping out. I missed the early sessions due to having breakfast with my brother from the king country who was in town overnight. However, when I turned up mid-morning I watched some of the girls pitched against Mr Ballard (5th Dan) and Mr Pellow (6th Dan). The team were impressive! They weren't intimidated and showed great courage. They boys weren’t let off the hook either… everyone was challenged to 2 x 2 minute rounds. Afterwards they all discussed the exercise and worked out what they needed to work on to improve further. After lunch at about 1.30pm it was back to the gym for some game fitness exercises then a two hour specialty session.

Then it was down to the river for a swim and relax before dinner... it's been a fine and hot day here so everyone was on for a swim (although only about half the team went in when we got there - including yours truly).
The evening was spent with a mixture of chilling out watching another (you guessed it) Taekwon-do DVD, individual interviews with the coaches and team leaders (still about 10 to go Sunday morning), and a handful returned to the gym for yet more "tuning" of the bodies and techniques.
Overall there's a feeling that the team has gelled together really well. They're working hard, showing courage and conviction, supporting each other, and getting along well. 

Here are some pictures of the day's action for you.