THE Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre will be alive with fighters this Sunday for the second South Coast Open Taekwondo Championships.
Over 200 competitors have already entered to compete in poomsae individual, team poomsae, sparring, individual and team creative and artistic XMS style board breaking events.
“We have mainly now got entries coming in from competitors from the recent US Open. We will have 25 to 30 Australian representatives competing, as well as 30 competitors from Eclipse Taekwondo,” said event organiser and Eclipse Taekwondo head instructor, Dale Bryce.
The special pressure-sensitive electronic chest guards will be used again, and the colourful medals specially made by Shoalhaven Trophy and Engraving are expected to be a hit.
One thing each club will aim for is the elusive club championship, which was won last year by Martial Arts Spirit in South West Sydney.
“Black Tiger Taekwondo club has entered a lot in the competition because they want to win that trophy,” said Bryce.
“It is very competitive between clubs. We have had a few late entries because people have seen who has entered and said they want to ‘smash someone in the draws.’ So there is definitely rivalry between them,” laughed Bryce.
Bryce said a martial arts tricking demonstration at noon will be a major drawcard.
“Some of the stuff these guys can do is unbelievable,” he said.
Bryce encouraged people who may not be familiar with taekwondo or martial arts tricking to come and check it out.
“For us it is such an exciting sport. If you come and watch you will experience an action-packed program featuring kids from age six up to Olympic athletes, with plenty of high level fights,” he said.
Eclipse Taekwondo coach Daniel O’Driscoll, 21, will compete in two sparring age divisions, the 68 to 74 kilogram open black belt, and the 74 to 80 kilogram open black belt.
In the lighter division, he will come up against Victorian Jeremy Attard.
“I fought against Jeremy last year. It was close early on, but then he smashed me,” said O’Driscoll.
The national and state title holder has been training six days a week in the lead-up to the South Coast Open.
“This year I am hoping to do better.”
Doors open from 7am Sunday, with the official opening ceremony at 8.15am.
Events will run until 5pm.
Spectators are welcome on the day at $10 for individuals, and $30 for families.
On Saturday there will be a martial arts tricking clinic at the SCYC Gymnastics Club at the Nowra Showground from 10am.
Eclipse Taekwondo and Nowra Gymnastics Club have joined forces with Tricking Australia and the Australian Tricking Professionals to teach martial arts tricking, which is a sport movement that combines martial arts, gymnastics, and other activities.
The clinic will be run by Jono Wong from Australian Tricking Professionals and will have some of the world’s best trickers teaching basic and advanced skills.
For more information on the martial arts tricking clinic or the South Coast Open, contact Dale Bryce on 0418488016.
Bryce thanked the Shoalhaven City Council tourism board for its support of the South Coast Open.