Lots of great action at Island Open

Competitors loved not having a lot of down time between matches and sparring events.

Sherman Campbell delivers a head kick to Jonathan Blancas during their “main event” match at the Island Open.

Sherman Campbell delivers a head kick to Jonathan Blancas during their “main event” match at the Island Open.

There was a great turn out for the 2014 Island Open, held at the Parksville Curling Club and put on by the Parksville Taekwondo Academy.

With clubs flocking in from all over Vancouver Island and the mainland, there was plenty of action packed into last Saturday for all ages and skill levels.

This was the fifth Island Open and with success growing each year, Brett Fee is already excited about next year.

“The event was awesome. There were tons of competitors that came to take part in the three events we had on Saturday and I’ve had nothing but great feedback from everyone who took part,” Fee said.

“It’s great to have an event like this where people who come here are looking forward to it happening every year and we’re always looking for ways to improve and maintain it so they keep coming back.”

The Island Open ran smoothly throughout Saturday, starting early in the morning and finishing late afternoon.

There were no waiting periods for any of the competitors in between fights, which is something that most tournaments don’t offer.

“The timing of everything went real smooth,” Fee said. “That’s one of the biggest things we pride ourselves on with this tournament, being able to get everyone in and not have people having to wait around from the morning to have their last fight at the end of the day. Not very many tournaments offer that and we were happy with the way things went.”

Competitors took to the mats, looking to come out victorious in the three events that were held at the Island Open.

Poomsae, where competitors were judged on their forms. Chanbara, which saw sparring with padded weapons added in to the mix and Olympic Sparring, where a point system was used to determine the outcome of each match.

“It was great to see the smiling faces as we walked around from mat to mat, checking out each match and talking with everyone who already had a match,” Fee said.

“Lots of our students had medals around their necks, a lot of them gold, so it was good to see their hard work paying off. That’s what it’s really all about with an event like this, seeing everyone after all the hard work they’ve put in.”

One of the main features saw Sherman Campbell from the Parksville Taekwondo Academy taking on Jonathan Blancas. The two put on a show for the crowd as the second degree black belts Campbell went toe to toe against third degree Blancas in a match that went down to the wire. Campbell came out on top with a 26–25 win on points.

“That was the main event, if you could call it that, at the tournament for sure,” Fee said.

“Those two guys put on a great match and it was a real good, back and forth, match. They both battled hard and it was great to see Sherman come away with the win, not to take anything away from Jonathan either.”