This month, sixteen members of Imugi Taekwondo entered the NSW National All Styles Championships at Sydney Olympic Park.
Many were hoping to defend their titles, whilst some were new to the tournament scene hoping for a shot at the gold that they’ve watched their peers previously achieve.
At the completion of one very long Championship Tournament, contested by almost 300 people, Imugi came home with 7 NSW Titles.
The Chief Instructor and founder of Imugi Taekwondo, Chung Sa Nim Tony Gillespie and co-founder Kyo Sa Nim Kelly O’Brien, lead from the front, successfully defended their titles from 2015 and Tony added a further two to his name.
Tony took out the NSW Champion in Male Open Black Belt Forms, Point Sparring and defended the Continuous Sparring title.
Whilst Kelly only contended one event this year, also taking home the Female Open Black Belt Continuous Sparring for a second year.
Kelly told News Of The Area, “We’re incredibly proud of all the Imugi’s who competed.”
“I spend the majority of the tournaments coaching our team and each of them leaves everything on the mat every time.”
“For our small school to come home with State Champions after competing against large and long established clubs, it is a true testament to their dedication and indomitable spirit.”
Other Imugi’s who earned the title of NSW Champion were Taylor Windle in 16-17y Male Open Continuous Sparring, Emmett Scott in 14-15y 10th-6th Kyu Points Sparring and Simon Tuppurainen in Novice Male (18+) Continuous Sparring.
Other admirable performance came from Nicole Gentle, Novice Female (18+) earning two silvers and a bronze in her first state championships.
A special story to come out of the championship is that of Thomas Gillespie.
Tom competed in the (10-11y) 10th-6th Kyu, and placed 4th in Continuous Sparring, despite having both Cerebral Palsy and Aspergers.
Tony said, “Tom has to work hard on a daily basis just to train, so for him to place in an abled body competition was truly inspirational.”
Imugi Taekwondo is a local martial arts school with approximately 60 dedicated students.
By Rachael VAUGHAN