The South African Combat Tang Soo Do and Haedong Kumdo Championships were held on 28 April 2007 in Nelspruit. Both events were held at the same venue, Tang Soo Do in the morning and Haedong Kumdo in the afternoon.

The SA Combat Tang Soo Championships has been a long standing annual competition. For the past two years it has been successfully organised and hosted by Master David Davis and his students at the Wolves Academy. Participants compete in events such as semi contact sparring, forms and weapons forms. They are divided into male and female categories based on their ages and belt levels. Sbnm Xander Davis was awarded the trophy for senior male student of the day and the women’s honour went to Sbnm Elizabeth Coetzee.

The tournament had an added thrill as part of the build up to something bigger – The Tang Soo Do World Championships to be held in Holland in October this year. South Africa has been the reigning champions for the past four years and students were eager to prove their worth and commitment to Team South Africa.

South Africa welcomed Grand Master Chong Je Nim Kim from Korea to the second annual South African Haedong Kumdo Championship. Grand Master Kim is the founder and Ultimate Grand Master of the United World Haedong Kumdo Federation. Grand Master Kim, Grand Master Mark Adlington, Master Paul Giffen and Neil Hurd from the United Kingdom, were the special guests of Grand Master Edward Jacobsen, an Executive Board Member of the International Martial Arts Games Committee. Participants were eager to impress in events such as sword forms and paper cutting, which is a highly technical event based on mastery of different cutting methods. The style has grown much since it was first founded in South Africa to the point that Grand Master Jacobsen has published a manual to the Korean sword martial art.

The championships were also a chance to train with our international guests. The friday started off well, Grand Master Mark began with some background on energy work and explained how we could use the energy in our martial arts and everyday lives. We then paired off and tried a few techniques on each other such as the center lock to get an idea of each other’s resistances. Later the group was divided up and some people played with the new re-breakable boards (my wrist still hurts) while others learnt a Ki Do bong form, or practiced dowsing with the rod. During the rotations of the groups, we had Grand Master Mark and Master Paul helping us out, showing us how to do it correctly.

On Sunday we spent the morning learning the applications of some of the techniques in our forms, such as Hadan Maki and Sadan Maki. Grand Master Mark and Master Paul spent a lot of time explaining and demonstrating the correct way to use wave forms in our punches, elbows, slaps etc. Everyone was smiling after trying to hit the people behind the bags as hard as possible. We then spent the afternoon under the guidance of Grand Master Chong Je Nim Kim, going over our Haedong Kumdo forms, draws and techniques, and learning the two handed sword draws.

By: Alida Smith, James Biddlecombe – South Africa Combat Tang Soo Do.