Apr 26th 2018  

 Events, Training

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series 2018 Competition

We gathered in South London – Competition 2018 it is. We met as friends at the door, as competitors on the mats, and left as friends at the end of the day. That’s the way we like to do it. So now it’s time to find out whether our competition diarist, Louis Beazley, achieved the results he was going for. Did his training and preparation pay off?

“So here we are. Another competition over and I hope you all enjoyed it. I also hope that all bruises are fading and any headaches are long since departed.

I’m sure you’ll all be glad to hear this will be my last article for a while, but I couldn’t just leave without letting everyone know how the competition went, and as a result whether my previous pearls of wisdom were valuable information nuggets or just a waste of your time.

If you were at the competition I am sure you know how it went, but for all those of you who sat at home on the day let me alleviate your suspense…

Did he win?

I managed to win a gold medal, two in fact (and a silver but that wasn’t for sparring). I won both my weight category (heavy weight) and the open competition; looks like my training for the competition did the job. That’s it though, bragging over, no one is going to keep reading if I spend the rest of this article talking about the two gold medals I won. After all, it was only two gold medals (and a silver).

Its not about the winning…

The competition is really about far more than winning though. Winning may be the pretence under which all us FWC students assemble, however it is not the best bit of the competition. The best bit is seeing everyone else, some people you haven’t seen for a year, some people you have never seen before, some people you see every week (or day), all under the same roof showing what they have learnt, what they can do. The competition is a celebration of the progress of our training and we are lucky to have the opportunity to show that progress to a group of people who understand what that means.

Lessons learnt

I have a few key things that I learnt this Saturday that might be of some interest to those of you considering sparring next year (and you should all be considering it).

  1. It doesn’t matter who you are facing on the mats, when you strap those gloves on the adrenaline starts pumping and worst case scenarios run through your head. The trick is don’t panic and don’t run for the nearest fire exit!
  2. Always bow. Bow a lot, respect your opponent, and you won’t be as surprised when they punch you in the face.
  3. Watch out for people’s legs, they come out of nowhere and they can really hurt.
  4. Keep on moving and keep your guard up. Do these two things right and no one will be able to touch you (I have to admit I haven’t perfected this strategy yet).
  5. When you are tired the other person is more tired, don’t show them your fatigue as they may just fight a bit harder.
  6. Compliment the people who are serving food, they are your best friends, they have the food.
  7. Every FWC student is your friend! That’s right, all of them; that one you haven’t met before, that one baying for blood from your opponent’s corner, and particularly the one who is right now swinging their arm up to clobber you across the face. We are all in it together especially when we are in the ring, and it is a testament to the quality of the Club that when the round ends the competition is left on the mats. So thank you everyone for making the competition the kind of event where you don’t have to worry about hurting someone’s feelings whilst you’re getting past their guard (and don’t think that because everyone’s your friend you shouldn’t hit them – that is what friends are for).

So that is it, my last advice on sparring for this year. Heed it well, and next year come and compete. The more the merrier is particularly the case when it comes to Kung Fu competitions. I will be there, eagerly greeting all challengers – after all what kind of reigning champion doesn’t at least try and defend their title?

Thank you to all the Instructors and students who took part in making such a fantastic event!

Yours sincerely,

Louis Beazley, Reigning Champion of the Open Competition, Reigning Champion of the Heavyweight Competition, FWC Kung Fu Student, and Proud Owner of Three Shiny New Medals (2 gold, 1 silver).

Louis trains at FWC London South with Instructor Richard Wagstaff.