The Martial Arts School of Fitness kicked off their competitions for 2012 at what has been officially recognised as, the World’s Largest Open Kickboxing tournament, The Irish Open.
With over 2,300 competitors from different ends of the earth, this is now ranked among the most prestigious tournaments in the world. Such are the numbers, this competition has to be run over three consecutive days to ensure everyone gets to compete!
MAS-F took a small selection of five students ranging from seven years of age to adult level. In the U12 sparring section, two students took to the mats.
Frank McGrory, the youngest competitor from the club went in against representatives from Italy, Ireland, UK and Germany in his division. Frank finished his section being put out in the second round by a volley of head kicks from his more experienced opponent.
Tomás Flanagan was the other U12 student in the sparring division. Entering the advanced section, Tomas fought diligently and scored well against his opponent, however, this was not to be his day on the podium. Both students demonstrated their willingness to challenge themselves and took away valuable learning experiences.
Assistant Instructor Fidelma Martin entered the black belt senior ladies division on the Saturday. With over 32 in this section alone it was one of the largest senior divisions of the day.
Coming up against Germany, Fidelma was eliminated after a hotly contested two rounds fight, finishing with a mere two points between competitors.
In the forms and weapons division, 10-year-old Darren O’Donogh, current Irish Champion and recently awarded his second consecutive Best of the Best Grand Champion title, for 2011, (winning the three competitions for forms in the one year) - went in against some of the highest ranked juniors in the world, including current World and European Champions along with members of the USA Allstar team.
Darren who is held in high esteem by his peers, displayed some extreme talent and skill with his tricks and martial arts moves, finishing in a very proud 4th and 5th position in sections containing up to 10 competitors. Darren also competed in the age division older than his and attained 5th position, demonstrating his abilities.
In the weapons division for girls, 14-year-old Monique Martin, current Irish Champion entered both the Under 17 and the adult section of Over-17.
Again, the representation in this division was all current World and European Champions from the UK and two teams from USA and Italy.
Giving a great account of herself, Monique finished 4th in the U17. On the Sunday Monique went up against it again in the Over-17, and this time succeeded in attaining a bronze medal and a podium position. The first, this year for MAS-F.
MAS-F have successfully managed to bring home a podium position from this prestigious tournament each year since it first entered, over five years ago.
Each year, the level of competition rises and challenges the students to their full potential.
Chief Instructor Wayne Rutherford is consistently amazed at the perseverance and true determination his students show and how proud he is of them, as they are as gracious in their defeat as they are in their successes.
To bring out the best in your child, check out www.mas-f.com, call or drop in to Wayne in the Martial Arts School of Fitness, Jocelyn St/Distillery Lane, Dundalk or call 0862522721.
You can also check the club out on Facebook. There are classes to suit all ages and abilities, from kickboxing, XMA, Kung Fu to MMA and Fitness classes.