Sunday 28 February 2010

Taupo Development Camp

Deejay Thompson getting back into it with his usual intensity.

I wasn't intending to go down to the Taupo Development Camp this weekend but when 4 boxes containing 41 TKD Photobooks for the 2009 World Champs turned up at work (a week earlier than I expected) I bunged them into the car and shot down to Taupo hoping to get as many as possible into the hands of their owners.

I took Deejay Thompson down with me. Both us had to be back for Saturday early evening. It was nice catching up with him. I hadn't seen him for ages as he'd taken a year off to setup his business as a personal training coach. With 40 regular clients he's now ready to come back and get back into Taekwon-Do. He's fit... working from early morning until early evening 6 days a week in a gym he get's plenty of physical action and is looking in great shape.

We got down on Friday night and spent the Saturday morning at training.
Settling in Friday night.

Training kick off.

Soaked in sweat by lunchtime.

As usual I took plenty of photos of the training action (99 random photos)...


Wednesday 24 February 2010

Profile of a World Champion - Carl Van Roon

Carl Van Roon receiving Grand Champion award at the 2009 ITF World Champs
Carl Van Roon receiving the award for Grand Champion at the 2009 ITF World Champs.

This is the first of a series of articles profiling our kiwi world champions who achieved so much success for New Zealand at the 2009 World Champs in Argentina

TKDAction: What year did you start TKD training and what was the name of the club and your instructor?

CVR: I started training with ITFNZ in 2000 at at Nibun Central with Andrew Niven as my instructor.

TKDAction: When did you get your black belt and what was your club and instructor?

CVR: I got my blackbelt the following year in 2001, a little early due to my other Martial Arts experience. Andrew Niven was still my instructor at the time.

TKDAction: Which international events have you attended and what were your achievements at each?

CVR: Worlds 2003, Warsaw, Poland
-Gold in individual special technique

Worlds 2005, Dortmund, Germany
- Gold in individual special technique
- Gold in team special technique

Worlds 2007, Quebec, Canada
- Bronze in individual -80kg sparring
- Gold in individual special technique
- Gold in team special technique

Worlds 2009, Mar Del Plata, Argentina
- Silver in individual -80kg sparring
- Gold in individual special technique
- Gold in team special technique
- Grand champion (Best overall competitor)

TKDAction: What were your goals for the 2009 World Champs?

CVR: Personally? To transcend my own self-imposed limitations in a bid to fulfill my potential.
Quantitatively? To be best overall competitor of the world championships. One of my priorities was to improve on my bronze medal in sparring at the previous worlds in 2007.

TKDAction: Can you describe how you felt when you stood on the podium and had received your gold medal?

CVR:Grateful to my parents and team-mates for all their support. Proud of my country.

TKDAction: What were some of the challenges you had to overcome to compete at the world champs?

CVR: Injury management was quite an issue during the campaign, but I'm thankful that the "prehab" efforts of various professionals kept me from being pulled down by all the niggles.
Balancing life (study, work, training, personal life) has always been a challenge for me, but I believe that if you whole-heartedly love something and have the motivation, you make the time to make it happen.

TKDAction:What would your message be to a young junior who you thought was good enough to trial. What would you say to them to encourage them?

CVR: My message would be one of self-empowerment. I'll borrow a phrase to help me: "Be a light unto yourself". We must light our own path. I'm not trying to say that you shouldn't truly welcome the help and expertise of those around you (that is also vital!) but try to find a path / way ("Do") that doesn't compromise or suffocate your own unique creativity and chance to express yourself. Try your own ideas out and don't be afraid of making mistakes. To quote some wise-guy: "Show me someone who hasn't made any mistakes, and I'll show you someone who hasn't tried hard enough." It is only through "mistakes" that we constantly improve!

Images of Carl on his journey from 2006 to 2009 World Champs Grand Champion...

Saturday 20 February 2010

World Champs Pick of the Pix - Junior Girls Connecting

Daiana Turnes of Argentina launches her opponent with a gut wrenching side kick before going on to win the heavyweight gold.

Phillipa Henry catches her Spanish opponent with a nicly placed head kick.

Amy Reeder caught landing a nice head punch in team sparring.

Kara Timmer with a side kick that almost connects.

Analiese Kirkvliet delivering a nice front kick with coach Steve Pellow watching on in the background.

Tuesday 16 February 2010

World Champs Pick of the Pix - Ladies Hitting Hard

Argentina delivers a powerful head punch to Poland. Amazingly at 1/200th of a second shutter speed the Pole's hair is action blurred.

Another tussle between Poland and Argentina. While I haven't caught a hit you can see the intensity of the fight in the Argentinian's face.

Carolina Dillen lands a nice left hand head punch.

And Carolina again... delivering a sidekick.

Images of junior girls landing the goods coming next.

Saturday 13 February 2010

World Champs Pick of the Pix - Big Hits

Jeremy Hanna
Jeremy Hanna catches England with a nice side-kick.

After the last Kiwis Getting Hit post I thought I'd better find a few images with the kiwis on their front foot dishing out some damage. In this article boys are delivering the goods, and they're not all kiwis....

Carl Van Roon
Carl Van Roon executes a VR classic jumping punch with Jhonatan Batista of Argentina in the Heavyweight final. Batista won.

Kane Baigent
Kane Baigent lands a nice quick head punch.

Russia vs Poland
Russia delivering a nice strong side-kick to Poland.

Mark Trotter
Mark Trotter vs USA. Interesting air technique on the part of USA while Mark executes a nice high kick and punch. Trotter won.

Jeremy Hanna
Jeremy Hanna responds to being boxed by Nejc Blanusa of Slovinia in with a well positioned side kick in the Junior heavyweight final. Blanusa won.

Saturday 6 February 2010

World Champs Pick of the Pix - Kiwis Getting Hit

Clint King
Clint King takes a big hit from Poland in the World Champs.

During the World Champs Daiana Turnes from Argentina (now a World Champ in sparring) asked if I could take a few photos of her sparring which I was delighted to do. She said "please take some of me hitting, not just getting hit" which made me laugh. These days I take as much delight in capturing a good shot of one of our guys taking a good hit as them giving out one. That hasn't always been the case as in the past I've been looking for good shots of the person I'm following, not their competitor. Looking through all the WC09 images, I've got to work harder at getting images of us on the back foot as well as the front foot! More balanced coverage. It's sure to get a reaction from time to time. I well remember Carolina pleading with me not to show what I thought was a particularly good shot of her receiving a spectacular hit from her opponent - can't quite recall the exact situation, but it happens. :-)

So, let's get it over with... here are a few shots of kiwis taking some good hits at the height of action at the World Champs. Ouch...

Carolina Dillen
Carolina Dillen giving and taking.

Paige Moki
Paige Moki taking a good kick to the head.

Kane Baigent
Kane Baigent looks like he missed but the Pole has hit.

Sandi Galpin
Sandi Galpin on the receiving end of a nice kick from Argentina.

Jeremy Hanna
Jeremy Hanna tries to fend off a head kick from Poland - looks like the kick hit target to me.

Monday 1 February 2010

World Champs Pick of the Pix - Close Up Action

Chris Broughton
Canon EOS 7D, 85mm prime lens, 1/400s, f/1.8 ISO: 400

Chris Broughton attacks his opponent (Argentina?) who is working hard to fend off the kick in individual sparring.

Two rounds of two minutes each doesn't sound like a lot of time but plenty of action happens in a round of sparring. Talking to our top competitors makes me believe that it feels like a bit of a whirl wind. Each opponent is trying hard to catch you out and slip in a hit while the other fends off and tries a counter attack. When you look at as many sparring images as I have, that moment of impact - when you are punching or kicking - your eyes are often closed. It must be a natural instinctive action. Having never experienced sparring myself (the closest being the battle in a ruck in my rugby days) I'm guessing that you only get to "see" some of it. Sweat soaking into your eyes, eyes closing for an instant the attack and then getting the odd hit from behind, it must be a bit of a blurr.

When photographing sparring action I like to get in very close, to make the viewer feel like they're right there. I can achieve that in training by making a nuisance of myself and sometimes having the camera under a metre from the closest body but at tournaments that's not possible.

Nevertheless, at the World Champs I managed to get a hand full of very close shots when the action was very close to me standing on the sideline.

Clint King
Canon EOS 7D, 85mm prime lens, 1/200s, f/2.8 ISO: 640

Clint King is attacking Poland in Team Sparring.

Courtney Meleisea
Canon EOS 7D, 85mm prime lens, 1/160s, f/1.8 ISO: 320

Courtney Meleisea gets in close to exchange punches with England.

Kristy Leong
Canon EOS 7D, 85mm prime lens, 1/200s, f/2.5 ISO: 640

Kristy Leong throws a successful kick to the chest of Poland.