Tom Molnar | Sat, 9 Nov 2019
Aberdeen University Taekwon-do Club recently found major success in Belgium with two members of the club representing the British Universities National Squad (BUTL). Miss Lucy Truong and Michelle Truong were both selected to be part of the BUTL UK National Student Squad back in June, competing as a team and winning spots over 400 students at trials. 11 countries took part in the competition held on October 13th, with the BUTL UK National Student Squad amongst one of the top schools taking part, and both Lucy and Michelle did extremely well individually.
Lucy Truong, who is a 3rd Dan black belt, ranked 4th overall in the competition out of 238 competitors. She earned two gold medals for her performances in sparring and power test, as well as a silver in patterns. Michelle is a blue belt and also earned medals for her work in the competition. She was placed second in sparring, power test and patterns, rewarded with a silver medal for each. Overall, Michelle finished 21st. Patterns is a set choreographed performance showing a series of offensive and defensive techniques in front of a panel of 3 or 5 judges, who vote on whose performance was best based on correct sequence, technical skill, flow and power. The aim of sparring is to score as many points on the body/head of your opponent while having as few points scored on you, with more points being awarded for more difficult techniques. Finally, the power test is when competitors demonstrate their power through breaking boards or other materials. In competition, competitors are given a set or choice of technique and whoever breaks the most boards wins.
AUTKD is celebrating their 20thyear as a club, being created in 1999. They currently have around 20 members but over the years it has fluctuated between 20 and 50. During the semester, they train Mondays and Thursdays in Kings Pavilion every week, but also hold a few open sessions on the weekends. They also attend an intensive training camp in June for a weekend and get around 20 hours of formal training. AUTKD has a number of students ranging in abilities starting with beginner, which is a white belt, to 3rd Dan black belt, with different coloured belts in between. The experience in the club ranges from students who have just started this semester to some who have been training for over 15 years, like Lucy Truong. The club has a number of instructors to help with skill improvements. Miss Iris Krammer, who is 2nd Dan, is the main instructor and has assistance from Michal Ivanic. The club is affiliated with Independent Taekwon-do Schools, led by Master Murdoch.
Students compete individually against opponents in a tournament-style structure for both patterns and sparring, which are the most popular event categories in competitions. However, there is one regional competition held in Dundee per semester in which other universities compete against each other. There is also a national level competition next semester down near Manchester in which the club has the opportunity to compete against students from across the UK. Finally, this year, AUTKD is invited to take part in the World Championships held in Manchester from April 2nd-5th, with 11 countries to take part but more expected to join.
Last year, the club won gold in the Scottish League and brought home a number of medals at the National Student Championships. With members like Lucy and Michelle already finding success early in the season, AUTKD seems to be off to a perfect start for the club’s 20th birthday!