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Region 12 Sparring Workshop
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The 20th of May marked a huge step forward for UKITF Region 12 as they hosted their first major joint event. Between the two club instructors, Mr Luke Dempsey and Mr Graham Pound, they hosted a sparring workshop that saw 15 students from across both clubs coming together to train, learn and build relationships that will surely continue to grow over future events.

Region 12 is UKITF’s newest region. It consists of two clubs located in South Lincolnshire run by two Imperial Tae Kwon Do originals. Mr Luke Dempsey of Dempsey Tae Kwon Do holds classes across three nights of the week assisted by Mr Dylan Dempsey in Whaplode. Mr Graham Pound of Lone Wolf Tae Kwon Do holds classes in Saracens Head across two nights of the week and alternate Sundays. Between the two instructors they have held multiple National and International titles and have a wealth of knowledge they are making every effort to pass on to their students.

The workshop began with an explanation of how ITF sparring worked. The rules, the divisions and how points could be scored. This was swiftly followed by a warm up taken by Mr Pound. On top of warming the students up ready for the event he explained why they were doing what they were doing, how they should warm up and what an effective warm up should contain. This set the tone for a session that was far more than just a sparring lesson but a workshop that students would leave having learned how to train on their own effectively and safely.

Mr Dempsey then took over starting at the very beginning of sparring fundamentals. He led a section entirely on movement. How to move effectively and how to not give your movement away to your opponent. He then continued to build on this foundation with a number of progressive drills designed specifically to enhance the student’s ability to move into strong positions and dominate a ring. Various attacking and defensive drills were covered using both hand and foot techniques. Following a short break, everything was put together to give the students a chance to try out their new skills. Starting with one kick sparring they progressed to free sparring. Some students even got the opportunity to face the instructors and put them through their paces!

The event concluded with all the students and instructors marking the occasion with a group photo and closing message from both instructors. The effort put in by all was inspiring. From the oldest to the youngest, the most senior to those just starting out, everyone gave 110%.
The closing message was one of unity. We all come from different clubs, we have different instructors and different Tae Kwon Do backgrounds but, we are all on the same journey; a journey of improvement supported and cherished by the UKITF family.

Both Mr Dempsey and Mr Pound are working incredibly hard to spread UKITF Tae Kwon Do across their region. This event will be the first of many hosted by the pair. The Region 12 Interclub is taking place on the 11th of June and they have Demonstrations booked throughout the summer. The next Workshop is already being planned for later in the year. With ambitious plans and such dedication to the art there’s no doubt there’s a bright future and great things to come from Region 12.

Written by: Mr Luke Dempsey & Mr Graham Pound - 5th June 2023
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