🖤 EPiC Start To Fighting 2020 💛

On Friday we took a team of 9 to Venice for the 2020 season opener, the Golden Glove 👊🏻

The squad consisted of Sean MacDonald, Teia Doyle, Ellie Doyle, Harvey Pollard, Rhiannon Bater, Ryan Chapman, Connor Chapman, Finlay Cozens and Matt Roberts. The coaching team was Matt Roberts and Rakan Sabbah.

Firstly to allow you to understand the results better here is a key to refer to:
U9 – under 9 years
YC – Younger Cadets (10-12 years)
OC – Older Cadets (13-15 years)
SM – Senior Male (18-35 years)
PF – Points Fighting
LC – Light Continuous
‘Clear’ – beat opponent by 10 points (thus counts as a TKO defeat)

Teia Doyle started the weekend off with a cracking opening performance to secure a gold in her -37kg LC division. Through great movement and slick lead hand attacking she went on to secure further golds on day 2 in her YC -28kg PF, YC -32kg PF and YC -37kg PF divisions. She stepped up to fight in the OC -32kg PF division and battled her way to the final but lost narrowly to take a silver. Her performances and results earned her the ‘fighter of the weekend’ accolade, with both coaches agreeing unanimously.

Teia‘s results
YC -37 LC : 1st
YC -28 PF : 1st
YC -37 PF : 1st
YC -32 PF : 1st
OC -32 PF : 2nd

Connor Chapman and his younger brother Ryan stepped onto Italian mats for the first time and adapted very well. With Ryan spending his first season in the YC ranks this year, it was always going to be a tough task after winning several major accolades in the U9s last year (including British Champs and Irish Open) but he settled well early on with two crushing displays to ‘clear’ his opening opponents, before coming up against a strong British fighter and taking a bronze. He added another bronze to his tally on day 2 to come away on the podium. Connor took his LC division apart, stopping both of his opponents with inspiring athleticism and brute accuracy. A fantastic sweep in the final summarised his performance well as he dismantled his opponent to take gold in the YC -47kg LC. He also added a bronze on day 2.

Ryan’s Results:
YC -37 LC : 3rd
OC -37 PF : 3rd

Connor’s Results:
YC -47 LC : 1st
YC -47 PF : 3rd

Harvey ‘Pingu’ Pollard started his 2020 season knowing that this would be one of his final competitions in the U9s as he will be 10 shortly, so he stepped up to his new YC categories too. Day 1 was a tough day but he started day 2 with some strong performances against a Solid Russian opponent in the U9 -29kg LC division but came up against an even stronger fighter in the final. He was moving well and scoring solid combinations before a controversial refereeing call meant he lost points and couldn’t quite muster up the technique to turn it around in the final 30 seconds, taking silver. He came back strong in his U9 -27kg PF category and weaved his way through the rounds with some memorable victories and won the final with flare to record a season-opening gold!

Harvey’s Results:
U9 -27 PF : 1st
U9 -29 LC : 2nd
YC -28 PF : 2nd
YC -32 PF : 3rd

Rhiannon Bater started 2020 by battling back against a tough opponent and current world champion. She was drawn against her twice on a tough weekend and lost to her by 1 point in her final bout of the weekend in the semi-finals of her OC -65kg PF category to secure a bronze. She moved much better and countered a very awkward leg (the other girl is a strong kicker) very effectively. She pulled out an aggressive front-foot style in her LC division, which saw her progress to the semi-finals before falling to the division winner in the semi-finals. She claimed a bronze in all 3 of her categories.

Rhiannon’s results:
OC -65 LC : 3rd
OC -65 PF : 3rd
OC +65 PF : 3rd

Finlay Cozens stepped onto the mats on day 1 just a couple of hours after touching down in Italy but got straight to work, powering through his first two opponents in style. He was aggressive and ruthless in his style and landed some solid combinations before narrowly losing in the Final in a great match. Fin, nicknamed ‘flingo’, also waded straight into his opponent in round 1 of his OC -63kg LC category, which epitomises his maturing mentality and at times he moved effortlessly across the tatami, which goes to show his intelligence with distance. He went on to take a bronze to add to his earlier silver.

Finlay’s Results:
OC -57 LC : 2nd
OC -63 LC : 3rd

Ellie Doyle took on some tough divisions in the OC -47kg weights for both styles. She had some tough calls go against her but ultimately couldn’t find form in the PF divisions but she fared better in the LC -47kg LC category. She moved smoothly and attacked off of the line, which made it difficult for her opponents to counter. She was leading her semi-final but slipped to a couple of good combinations by her opponent, who was displaying quality kicking. She fell short by just 2 points, taking home a bronze medal.

Ellie’s results:
OC -46 LC : Bronze

Sean MacDonald battled against some quality opponents in his earlier rounds, schooling them with slick movement and gaining great distance with his lead leg kicks. Scoring with long blitzes and following his shots up well, he went through to the semi finals. He unfortunately didn’t adapt quickly enough to an awkward-kicking Italian, who was 5-0 up before Sean started to work him out, which was too late by then. Sean ended up fighting against the same fighter again in his next division. He fought him differently and was holding a quality 1-0 lead until his opponent was scored a 2-point technique when Sean had blocked well, but he got on with the fight- not using a judging mistake as an excuse. He went on to lose 2-1 but took the defeat amazingly well, which shows his maturity.

Sean’s Results:
YC -37 PF : Bronze
OC -37 PF : Bronze

Coach and fighter Matt Roberts was selected, along with 23 of the other top fighters at the tournament to make a 24-man roster for the ‘Kombat Zone’. The arena came to a standstill for this event, a first-to-score tournament which is fast-paced and exciting. Matt didn’t secure the win, but went on to win in a nail-biting first round against a strong Italian in his SM -94kg PF category. He countered with a strong kick with 3-seconds to go. After stopping his quart-final opponent with a brutal back-kick, he lost to the current European Champion in the semi-finals to claim a bronze. He cleared both of his first-round and second-round opponents in the SM +94kg category before losing to the current world champion in the semi-finals. Matt took a silver in the SM -89kg LC category on day 1.

Matt’s results:
SM -89 LC : Silver
SM -94 PF : Bronze
SM +94 PF : Bronze

The advanced fighting squad move on to the Watford Open Nationals (WON) on Sunday 26th January.

EPiC Competition : The Result

Good afternoon everybody,

We sincerely hope that your weekend has got off to the best start 🙌🏻 if not then we are sending positive vibes so that it improves 🖤💛

As you are aware, we ran a big competition between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve to give away a FREE 3-month pass to our state of the art facilities 💪🏻🙏🏻

We are very proud to reveal that the winner, drawn at random from our pool of candidates (who followed the necessary stipulated steps) is:

💛 Aimee Smith! 🖤

Well done to you and we are looking forward to welcoming you into the EPiC family 😀 you have unlimited access to the fitness class timetable and use of the gym – 😀❤️ just pop into reception when you are ready and we will set this up 🎉

If you didn’t win this time then never fear, why not benefit from the same amazing facilities in the meantime and then when the next competitions go live then you can enter those and look to boost your life and those around you with the EPiC services that we offer 🏆🙌🏻

Come and speak to us and we can assist you with how to get started 💪🏻 we look forward to seeing you soon 😃

Have a great weekend everybody!

European Championships 2019

🏆 European Championships 2019 🏆

Team EPiC has a record 13 members selected to represent their country this year. 10 in the juniors and 3 in the seniors 🇬🇧

The junior European championships took place in Gyor, Hungary just over a week ago. Our junior squad was as follows:

George Sherlock
Harvey Tyler
Harvey Pollard
Alex Fellender-Evans
Kam Doyle
Ellie Doyle
Harrison Doyle
Teia Doyle
Alfie Fowler
Dylan Hunt

Firstly, we would like to congratulate George Sherlock on becoming the new European Champion in Light Continuous 🏆 George also made it through to two further finals (points and Kick Light) but didn’t have the answers on the day to add to his LC title 🥈🥈

Harvey Pollard was just 5 seconds away from European glory, leading 14-13 but a skilled headkick from his Bulgarian opponent scored 2 points to leave ‘Pingu’ with a silver after a 15-14 defeat. This was in the -27kg points category 🥈

Alex Fellender-Evans got through to the semi finals of his -32kg points category after victories against a Russian and an Italian but sadly he couldn’t find the answers to beat his Bulgarian opponent. Alex took home a Bronze medal 🥉

Kam Doyle was so far ahead on the judges scorecards in his -60kg Full contact category and was landing some lovely free flowing combinations when his opponent landed a straight right in the final round, which made the referee stopped the fight due to a cut on the face. It was a questionable call, especially given the time left in the fight and the score difference.

Dylan Hunt got through to semi final of the -42kg Light Continuous category. He had beaten a tough Irish fighter in the quarter-final but faced an in-form and sharp Bulgarian fighter in the semis. He couldn’t quite get past the semi finals but he did thoroughly deserve his bronze medal! 🥉

Harvey Tyler got through to the final of his Light Continuous category but fell just short of the mark to take a silver! Harvey also made the semi finals in his other category and was close to going through but just lost out to his opponent to add a bronze to his tally 🥈🥉

Alfie Fowler took a lot of experience from his first call-up to the international stage. His opponent got the better of him but Alfie’s attitude to the big stage was perfect and he has learnt a lot from it, which will mean he will come back stronger next year 💪🏻🔥

Teia Doyle got through to the semi finals of her points category against a very tall, leggy fighter. She tried to out manoeuvre her opponent but was caught with an early head kick and then had to chase the points in the fight, which was always going to be an uphill battle. She still gave it her all and battled until the end, claiming a bronze medal 🥉

Harrison Doyle faced two tough opponents in his points and Continuous categories. He lost out by one point in his points fight, despite fighting brilliantly – deserving more. His Continuous category was tough and he held his own but sadly couldn’t come away with the win.

Ellie Doyle also had a tough day at the office but again fought gallantly in her points category. The performance was there but sadly not the result this time, Ellie took defeat well and knows what she has to do better for next time, summing up the true spirit of martial arts.

Harvey Pollard and Alfie Fowler were selected to fight for the children’s team, Alex Fellender-Evans represented the younger cadets team and George Sherlock was selected for the Older Cadets team.

The senior world championships are in Antalya, Turkey at the end of November 🇹🇷 we will bring you more on this as the next few months unravel.

#beepic #teamgb

Karlovac Glory for Team EPIC

Team Epic braced the snow, giant rats and some of Europe’s finest fighters on their way to a successful haul from Croatia!

The Karlovac Open is a prestigious tournament and a major WAKO series event that attracts many well-known fighters from all over Europe to compete in the western-border town. Organised by Zoran Cicvara, this event has been one Team EPIC have attended a few times before.

The team arrived in Venice airport on a cold, wet Thursday night and trampled out of the airport towards their connection transport when they came across the biggest rats imaginable! With a small army of mutant rodents on the scavenge for food, the brief excitement and standard picture-taking came to an end and the team set off for a 3.5-hour trip across the snow-layered Slovenian mountains.

Upon arrival the team settled into the hotel for a night’s sleep before head instructor Andy Cleeves joined the following day following a flight direct to Croatia. The team weighed in and settled into the arena ahead of the evening’s team events. A great night of action as our teams took two golds and a bronze! A special mention to Captain Kam Doyle and Andy Cleeves who took out two German teams on their way to the title.

Saturday saw the start of the main action. The packed points-fighting categories proved to be exactly what you would expect from a major tournament. The standard in the cadet divisions was of world class and we had golds, silvers and bronzes across the board, as well as some strong performances that weren’t rewarded with medals. Kam Doyle and Teia Doyle both won their grand champion divisions which was brilliant and we had many strong fights from Alex Fellender-Evans through to Dylan Hunt. The adults also were represented in points-fighting through Emma Thomas, Ben Beavis and Matt Roberts- all of whom placed in their cateogries. Rhiannon Bater also stepped onto the mats at her first international tournament on foreign soil and Harvey Pollard was also on form in his divisions as he built more experience in the world of kickboxing.

Sunday saw the light continuous and kick light action. The arena was full again for day 3 and this was a testament to the standard in Europe. Captain Kameron Doyle recovered from a nasty foot injury to win his continuous division in style, Emma Thomas came from behind at half time in her fight to power her way to gold and there were other strong performances from Harrison Doyle, Dylan Hunt and the younger cadet squad who all battled hard through their categories.

The next stop for Team EPIC is the EPIC open on February 25th!

Golden Glove 2018

Team EPIC descended on Italy in order to take some silverware back to the UK.

A small team travelled and we brought back more than our fair share of Italian treasure. The sweeps and attacking prowess of Kameron Doyle petrified his opponents as he smashed his way to many golds and a silver against Roland Veres, falling short by 1 point.

Captain Kam, number 1!

The season-opening competition was of the highest quality and saw world champions, European champions and countless national champions from all over compete for the coveted trophy and ‘Golden Glove’ champion 2018.

Head coach Andy Cleeves hailed the event as the perfect start to EPIC’s fight calendar and a tone-setter for the upcoming tournaments.

Next up for Team EPIC is a trip to Watford to fight at the Watford Open Nationals.

EPIC Hungary for Success

On the weekend of May 23rd TEAM EPIC descended on Budapest, the capital city of Hungary and took 11 competitors to battle against some of the world’s best fighters in a massive tournament. The Hungarian world cup was into its 23rd year and attracted 2600+ fighters to compete across points fighting, light continuous, kick light and full contact.

The EPIC team that went was: Andy Cleeves, Harvey Pollard, Sean MacDonald, Alex Fellender-Evans, Ben Davies, Rakan Sabbah, Brooklyn James, Teia Doyle, Ellie Doyle, Harrison Doyle and Dylan Hunt.

TEAM EPIC finished 14th out of 156 teams which is a massive step and progression for the Bristol-based club who are locking horns with some of the best teams in the world and are quickly establishing theirselves as such. With 5 of the 10 gold medals that GB fighters won out there, this also states the national standard in which the team often dominates medal tables. The overall medal haul was 5 gold, 1 silver and 7 bronze medals.

Sean MacDonald made his international debut at the delicate age of 8 but this young warrior pushes from strength to strength as he won a bronze medal in the 8-9 year old -25kg category. He then came 5th in the 8-9 year -28kg, narrowly missing out on the semi finals by losing in the round of 8. He did however win another bronze in the male children white and yellow belt category -28kg.

Harvey Pollard, also making his international debut, fought in the -25kg mixed children category and the 7-year old showed much heart and passion as he battled but narrowly missed out in the quarter finals. He fought well in the -28kg mixed category and was unlucky to miss out on a quarter final place against a very tough opponent who went on to win the division. Pollard, 7, also stepped into the -28kg white and yellow category and again fell short in the round of 16 but has taken away alot of experience.

Brooklyn James fought in the -57kg category for points, continuous and Kick light and was unlucky not to place in any of them. It was his first competitive go at kick light and he held his own which was pleasing for his coaches to see.

The Doyle sisters were the stars of the show as they won 2 golds each, Ellie won a silver too and Teia won a bronze in the -32kg points. Ellie smashed her kick light category to get through to the final and used slick movement and crisp techniques to beat her final opponent and claim gold. She then went and did the same thing in her continuous category. She bossed all of her fights against some tough opponents. A slightly off-the-pace performance in her final in the points prevented the clean sweep of golds but after so many fights to claim the silverware in her other categories she was still putting her all into it. Teia Doyle, 8, won opening points category and stood on the centre piece of the podium and savoured the moment. She then went on to win in the points -25kg category, displaying those flexible kicks and stunning timing as she dismantled her opponents’ fight plans and once again topped the podium.

Harrison Doyle went into the tournament in a very busy -42kg light continuous category and came out with a bronze medal. He won a couple of tough fights to set up a semi final place. The fight was very close but unfortunately for the Bristolian fighter on this occasion the decision went against him and he took away experience as well as a bronze medal for his efforts.

Rakan Sabbah won a gold in the kick light -80kg intermediate category after winning his opening fight with robust hitting and persistence when under pressure to set up a semi final fight against a Ukrainian opponent. Sabbah was too much to handle for his opponent and set up a final against a home-national. Despite the Hungarian being favourite on home soil, Sabbah had other ideas and demonstrated heart, power and ‘always believed’ he would win. He did! He had previously won a bronze in the light continuous -80kg after losing to a greek fighter in the semi finals who was very ‘leggy’ and landed several head kicks on the Jordanian Team EPIC fighter. On the Sunday Rakan fought in the advanced -74kg category for light continuous and after beating a Hungarian in the first round, he then lost to a Slovenian in the quarter finals.

Alex Fellender-Evans was unlucky to lose out in the quarter-finals of both the -28 and -32kg points categories. He is moving better than ever and clearly understands the sport well as he sets up wonderful leg passing techniques and quick blitzes through movement of the front foot but was just unable to beat his two quarter final opponents in those two categories. Evans however did win a bronze in his -28kg light continuous category with a fine set of performances.

Dylan Hunt won a few fights in his respective categories but couldn’t quite find the answers past world-class opponents in the quarter finals. He was unfortunate to not get a few decisions but his knowledge of the sport is growing as has committed himself to progressing with the kickboxing. As a talented gymnast Hunt has a very agile and quick style which can be a real pleasure on the eye.

Andy Cleeves started with his usual flair as he first blitzed his opponent and then swept him clean to the floor as he stepped into him and took his standing leg. The greek opponent came back stronger in the second round with a staggering kicking ability. The fight ended close but a couple of head kicks meant the Greek progressed to the next round.

Ben Davies also produced fine performances to get through the earlier rounds in his categories and eventually lost out in the quarter finals of his categories to strong opponents. Some very close-fought encounters went in his opponents favours but the performances were good and in a marginal sport these fights can be decided by one mistake or bad call. Davies, a current British champion, will be back and win plenty on the circuit.

Team EPIC entered a children’s team which was: Alex Fellender-Evans, Harrison Doyle, Ellie Doyle and Dylan Hunt. The team came 5th, losing out narrowly in the quarter finals. The team are planning to enter more team events soon.

Team EPIC are proudly sponsored by Safety Horizon South West.

Northants Report: EPIC results

On Sunday 21st May Team EPIC took a team of 15 competitors to Northampton to compete at Benham Sports Arena. The team performed well on the day and won an array of medals including multiple bronze, silver and gold winners. The tournament is one of the more coveted on the national circuit which makes it appealing for competitors to attend, hosted by the Fighting Fit Academy.

The Northants Open also has open weight categories for juniors and adults which four of our competitors entered (one in each). Katie Williams competed in the cadets female open weight and was unlucky in her semi-final fight as she performed well but just couldn’t quite overcome her opponent, earning a 3rd place! Connor Mitchell, making his EPIC tournament debut, impressed in his fights but had a tough opponent in the second round who narrowly took the victory from the 17-year old Bristolian. Senior coach Matt Roberts opened his grand champion category with a resounding 4-1 win over CMA opponent Connor Preece before narrowly defeating the experienced Ryan Ellis on sudden death (final score 9-8) in the quarter final. He faced multiple champion Reuben Charlesworth in the semi finals and was 5-4 down with seconds to go and committed to a blitz and was unlucky to have a counter kick scored against him but went down 6-4 in a close encounter to finish 3rd. Molly Hershaw dismantled her opponents on the way to the final of the Female senior open weight final against the vastly experienced Imogen Proctor. The fight was on tender-hooks as both girls traded wonderful techniques scoring freely and Hershaw slipped a beautiful leg counter in to bring the scores close together. The second round of the final was a close affair with further exchanges of scores and a couple of scores missed in the EPIC fighter’s favour. There was only seconds left when Proctor finally pulled enough points ahead to make the win safe but Molly, who is suffering from a knee injury, did her club proud with 2nd place.

In the points categories both Rhiannon Bater and Jess Andrews opened up the day with the brown and black belt categories. Jess was slow to start her opening fight and got back into the fight too late as she tried clawing the score back but fell short of the mark. Rhiannon started quickly in her opening fight and took her opponent apart. She went on to the final and came second to a good fighter. Oliver Hiscutt recorded both a 10 point victory and an 11 point victory margin in his category as he took home a gold! Harry Cooke, also making his debut, was unlucky to draw an opponent who was a bit stronger but fought well as the referees had to warn his opponent for excessive contact. Tyrese Redgers, who competed in the same category, improved from round to round to reach the final against the opponent who beat Harry Cooke. Tyrese recorded a 7-2 victory and took gold. Rowan Redgers took a bronze in his 7-8 category for points, fighting extremely well as he eased passed his opening opponents and lost narrowly to his semi-finalist opponent. Harvey Tyler took two golds from three points categories as he produced some beautiful performances. A strong spectacle of kicks, fast blitzes and counter techniques that stopped some of his opponents. Katie Williams earned a silver in the advanced points and a gold in the intermediate points to complete a good days fighting for the ever-improving EPIC youngster. Mike Andrews took a silver in the novice points category before Molly Hershaw earned a silver in the female +65kg category and Matt Roberts earned 2 further bronze medals to complete the day. Also mentions for good performances from Ollie Lawler, Finlay Cozens and Connor Mitchell throughout the day but fell short of the podium finishes in their points categories.

In the Light Continuous Tyrese Redgers took his second gold in two categories as he completed a great day for the Redgers boys because Rowan took a gold in his 7-8 Light Continuous category too. Ollie Lawler was unlucky not to place 3rd as a contentious decision in his bronze place fight off cost him a podium finish despite a strong performance. Mike Andrews was also in a tough category and had his fight stopped for medical time which was unfortunate but his children Jess Andrews won a bronze and then son Dean won a silver in their categories. Finlay Cozens won a silver medal in his light continuous category before Harvey Tyler tied up another gold (totalling 3 on the day- our stand out medallist winner) in his category with a stylish performance in the final.

A massive well done to the fighters on the day, both Molly and Matt, who coached on the day, were proud of the team.

Thank you to our proud sponsor SAFETY HORIZON SOUTH WEST for all of the support!

Dutch Open Report 2017

Early April is the annual time of year for the Dutch open! This year we had 4 fighters take the trip to Amsterdam to compete at the event with a very high level of competition on show and were very pleased to announce that all of our team fought well.

Our team: Harrison Doyle, Teia Doyle, Molly Hershaw, Matt Roberts and our pillar of support, coach and head videographer- Emma Doyle)

Friday evening was the open weight divisions and our adults fought against tough opponents in their respective divisions. Molly Hershaw was unlucky with refereeing decisions as she narrowly lost out to Martina Rossi of Italy. Matt Roberts went down to a heavy defeat to European champion Anatoli Kuschnir in the men’s section.

Saturday started with all of our fighters in action. The kids categories were busy and our two Team Doyle warriors both came away with amazing results. Teia Doyle won two silvers and a bronze medal and Harrison won two silvers, a bronze and also a Gold in his categories. What made his gold so special was he overcame an Italian opponent who has beaten him comfortably in recent years but this time the 12-year old GB team member crushed his opponent by 5 points! Teia was on form and lost both of her finals to the same opponent from Belgium narrowly both times. Her display of kicking in he earlier rounds earned praise and respectful comments from coaches and referees alike. Harrison Doyle is currently ranked number 1 in the world in his respective WAKO points category!

In the adults sections Molly Hershaw earned a gold in her +70kg category as she lost to world ranked number 3 Joanne Deegan in the semi finals after hammering Dilara Tunc in the previous round. Molly was beaten by a tough Italian opponent in the opening round of the -70kg category. Matt Roberts once again drew Anatoli Kuschnir of Top Ten Germany in the opening round of his -89kg category after suffering defeat to him the night before. A patient opening round performance saw the scores tied at 4-4 which Roberts had led for the majority of the round but the second round saw experience tell and Kuschnir went on to win.

A great weekend by all and the team are now looking forward to the CIMAC and KWON competitions coming up.

Irish Open 2017

Team EPIC once again descended upon the lively city of Dublin in early March as we took a strong team of fighters and coaches to the land of the Irish. The team arrived around the middle of the day on Friday 3rd March and went straight to weigh in, all fighters made their weight and then immediately went on to either eat, sleep or prepare for the afternoons continuous action.

The squad that travelled over to fight was: Alex Fellender-Evans, Amy Kingscott, Ben Davies, Carmen Jones, Emma Doyle, Fin Haynes, George Sherlock, Gio Marchese, Harrison Doyle, Harvey Tyler, Justin Worland, Kam Doyle, Katie Williams, Matt Roberts, Molly Hershaw, Rakan Sabbah and Teia Doyle.

Coaches: Andy Cleeves, Andy Gill.

Alex F-Evans vs Mate Hammer

The team made their way to the arena at 3pm on the friday afternoon for the commencement of the 2017 event and saw the first TEAM EPIC squad enter the team event. The four warriors who stepped onto the mats were Ellie Doyle, Harrison Doyle, Harvey Tyler and George Sherlock. The opponents were the well drilled CMA Villans from Halesowen, UK. The fight started slow for EPIC, after Ellie’s round the team were down by 2 points. George Sherlock went up next and fought hard to try and bring the deficit back but the team were still behind due to the evasive style his opponent brought to the mats which was a clever tactic. Harvey Tyler was unlucky to have multiple scores against him that hit his back and the frustrations started to show amongst the EPIC support. With the team still behind on points after the third round Harrison Doyle was left with the task of getting the points back. It was one step too far and the Villans went on to progress. They eventually lost in the final to Team Byrne.

In the Juniors Ben Davies made his way through to the quarter finals with a fighting flare that saw him become british champion just a few weeks before. The quarter final opponent was a strong Italian fighter who was just a little bit sharper and went on to progress. Ben also fought in the open weight against the same greek fighter that Kam Doyle fought the night before. A couple of very harsh refereeing calls and a frantically paced fight made for a tense atmosphere at the fight entered extra time. The Greek won by 1 point which wasn’t a fair reflection of the way that Ben fought. Kam Doyle fought in the senior divisions for the first time in Light Continuous -57kg. He made it all the way through to the semi final but lost to the eventual winner in a very tense bout. With stoppages and the referee not letting the fight flow like it should in this style the world champion found it hard to get into a rhythm. With this being said he was countering well and from a neutrals point-of-view the result still looked like it would be heading to the EPIC fighter. The result went the other way however and ended up with disappointment an frustration at the handling of the fight. Doyle then dusted himself down and went on to reach the finals of the -57kg juniors points fighting category. He had several tough fights including the aforementioned greek fighter than proved to be hard work especially due to a nose injury that he suffered after being caught with an elbow in the continuous. The final of the category was cagey to start with until the Hungarian fighter went a couple of points up not far from the end. Doyle showed his champion spirit to pull it back to a one point deficit with seconds to go. His opponent then controversially turned and ran off the mats as Kam landed a headkick. The referees didn’t initially score anything which enraged the entire crowd and invoked senior official involvement. Eventually the fighter got away with an exit which lost him a point and the fight went to extra time which stayed deadlock with both fighters scoring a further point each. Deadlocked, the tie went to sudden death and Doyle’s movement pulled his opponent into scoring range but as he went for the shot, the Hungarian jumped back and landed a counter backfist to take the gold. Kam took the silver which was harsh under the circumstances. Amy Kingscott stepped up to the -50kg category against a tough Irish opponent and it was her first performance on the mats in a little while but that didn’t show as she took the fight to her opponent. The home nation fighter ultimately proved stronger and took the bout but credit to the 16-year old from EPIC who gave a good account of herself.

Matt Roberts vs Dale White

In the younger cadets George Sherlock won a bronze medal in the -28kg category as he overcame tough opponents from Greece and Italy to reach the semi finals against Mate Hammer (world champion) from Hungary. The Kiraly fighter ended up fighting a few EPIC fighters on the day and won this bout with his range of leg technique and quick blitzing. George also got to the quarter-finals of the -32kg category. Harvey Tyler reached the semi finals of the -32kg category after coming through his draw sheet and beating several opponents to win his drawsheet and pulled off the technique of the tournament as he scored a 3-point tornado kick in one of his fights. He then stepped up against Mate Hammer who proved to be too strong on this occasion, another medal for the young fighter though was warranted. Katie Williams was slow to start in her first category in the -55kg novice section at her first ever international competition and conceded an exit before taking the fight back to her opponent and narrowly missing out on progressing. Her second category went alot better as she took the -60kgs by storm progressing through to the final. She fought the winner of the -55kg category in the final, a german, who looked experienced. The final was a close encounter with both fighters taking the initiative at times but ultimately ended a stalemate and went to extra time. The german fighter agonisingly won by 1 point in extra time which meant Williams took silver! Fin Haynes won a bronze medal in a strong -28kg category as he went down in the semi finals to a team GB national fighter. He fought very well on the day, having to pick himself up after a slow start by the team and it rallied everyone up for the rest of the day. Alex Fellender-Evans narrowly missed out on the semi finals in the -28kg category as he beat an Irishman and a GB fighter before losing out to a GB fighter in the quarters. He moved well and countered well where needed but it was one fight too many on the day. In the -32kg category Alex beat his opening round opponent from Italy before facing Mate Hammer from Hungary and went down 2-0 in that fight. Ellie Doyle won a bronze in the -37kg girls category which was a tough division! She moved much better than she had done in the team fight and dismantled her opening round opponent. She eventually lost in the semi-final to the eventual winner from Hungary. Harrison Doyle made it through to his draw sheet final but faced a nemesis from GB, which proved one fight that he couldn’t win on the day. Teia Doyle also narrowly lost in her categories to the winners. The young rising star was slow to start in her opening category but fought her heart out in her second category. She was transformed and showed bags of potential taking a bronze in a tough category! Carmen Jones picked up a bronze in her category with slick kicking and dropping well into her hand techniques to reach the semi finals but the category was very hard. The Irish Open is the highest level international tournament and it showed off Jones’ potential as she pushed hard for the win but just couldn’t quite get the better of her semi final opponent which was a shame but a well deserved medal all the same.

Katie Williams on the Podium!

In the senior divisions Molly Hershaw drew 7x world champion Anna Kondar in the first round of the +70kg category which was unlucky. The experience of the Hungarian paid dividends in this fight as she countered most of the techniques that Molly threw at her. Hershaw then went on to fight in the -70kg and took her sponsored Norwegian opponent apart with a resounding 10-0 win just a few seconds into the second round of the fight. She went to fight a tough Italian fighter in the second round and ran it close but was unlucky to come out of that one on the losing side. Matt Robert fought in the -84kg mens and fought an Irishman in the first round and after a slow start recovered to perform very well but left himself far too much to do as he chased the bout. Roberts also fought against an experienced Italian in the -89kg category and was beaten in the first round. Gio Marchese used a range of flare and experience to beat his opponents as he cruised through to the semi finals of the continuous. He stopped his quarter final opponent with a skilfully timed counted back kick which was a real crowd pleaser. He narrowly lost his quarter final to a younger man from Team Renegade in the dying seconds. Rakan Sabbah was unlucky to be disqualified from his continuous round as he went for a switch scissor kick, his opponent dropped his head and froze which meant that the knee of the Jordanian made impact with his opponent and the fight was declared over. Justin Worland fought in the veteran men’s points category and fought a very experienced fighter from GB which was a tough draw. Worland went for it though and didn’t hold back, giving a good account of himself.

Special thanks to Safety Horizons South West for their continued support as EPIC Martial Art’s official sponsor, also a thanks to the supporting parents who are always brilliant and our close family-like group that enjoyed the weekends event.

8 British Titles on EPIC weekend

Team Epic continued their strong start to 2017 by winning 8 WAKO British titles on Sunday 19th February.

With a place in the team GB squad at stake for all podium finishers, the championships brought people together from all over the nation to compete in Birmingham.

Team Epic competitors: Alex Fellender-Evans, Ben Davies, Dylan Hunt, Ellie Doyle, Finlay Haynes, Harrison Doyle, Harry Rhodes, George Sherlock, Harvey Pollard, Harvey Tyler, Jack Pollard, Kameron Doyle, Katie Williams, Matt Roberts, Molly Hershaw, Oliver Hiscutt, Sean MacDonald, Teia Doyle.

Saturday saw the light continuous categories go ahead, it was a strong display from our warriors and two British champions emerged. Harvey Tyler won the -28kg category to become the WAKO British champion. Alex Fellender-Evans also became the continuous British champion in his category. He fought well with slick movement and crisp combinations, making his opponents cover and concede points as he exploited their weaknesses. Finlay Haynes placed 3rd in the -28kg Light continuous category. Dylan Hunt also claimed a bronze medal in this style but in the -32kg!

Harvey Pollard becomes British Champion

On the Sunday it was points fighting and In the kids points categories EPIC excelled with title wins for Harvey Pollard, Harvey Tyler and Ellie Doyle x2. The day started brightly for Team EPIC with the peewee 6 years and under category young Harvey Pollard beat his first opponent with ease but when it came to the final he found himself up against his nemesis. Aaron Dudley from the coveted Byrne Black Belt Academy (BBBA) had beaten Pollard on the previous 3 occasions. However a spirited performance mixed with the listening skills and reactions as his coaches commands came loud and animatedly from behind created a great atmosphere. A tie after normal time, Pollard went on to win 14-11 in extra time and lift his first title. Sean MacDonald got a bronze medal in the -28kg pee wee points category and Oliver Hiscutt conceded a late head kick (2 points) from being 3-1 up and then 3-2 before the 2-point kick landed, final score 3-4. Hiscutt competed in the -32kg pee wee category. Jack Pollard also fought gallantly in the -28kg pee wee category losing narrowly in the quarter finals to the eventual runner-up. Teia Doyle was twice beaten in the finals of her categories. She claimed two silvers, one in the -28kg pee wee girls and one in the -32kg pee wee girls. She is a bright prospect for the future as she shows great understanding of the sport at the age of 7 and has the technique to back it up!

Sean MacDonald claims a bronze!

In the kids -28kg category EPIC had a British champion emerge. Harvey Tyler outclassed his opponents on his way to the final against fellow EPIC team mate George Sherlock. Tyler, the 2016 champion in this category, retained his title with patient set up moves and precise technique. That doesn’t take away the skill level that Sherlock performed with in this fight, he kept his head and moved well. On another day it could have gone his way. Alex Fellender-Evans claimed a bronze in this category, making it an EPIC 1, 2, 3!

Harvey Tyler (left) and Finley Haynes (right)

Harry Rhodes was unlucky not to place in the -37kg points but Harrison Doyle made it to the final of this category but was unlucky not to win it. He fought well but ultimately was just pipped to the title by a strong opponent, silver for the young man. Katie Williams stepped up after just a year of training to the -55kg and -60kg categories and was unlucky to fall just short of the podium.

Ellie Doyle stole the limelight on day two by winning two titles. The first in -32kg girls and the second in -37kg girls. Strong performances and a desire to win that outshone her opponents saw her twice stand on centre podium.

Double British Champion Ellie Doyle

In the Juniors 18-year old Ben Davies narrowly lost his -74kg category but atoned for this by winning a high-pace fight against current GB senior squad member Jarrod Nelson. Davies won the -79kg category in style over the two rounds of the final to lift the trophy and claim the accolade of British champion. Kameron Doyle fought his way through his category before finding himself 4-1 down to his ‘Team Blueblood’ opponent in the final. By the interval Doyle, a current world champion, had stepped it up a gear and pulled it back to 4-4. He then stepped it up again and led the fight from then on in. The referees missed a headkick in both fighters’ favour before the buzzer went off which allowed the 16-year old to become the -63kg British champion.

Kam Doyle (right) and Teia Doyle (centre) with head coach Andy Cleeves (left)

In the adult points categories Molly Hershaw earned a shot at GB squad training by placing in both the -70kg and +70kg categories. In the +70kg category she pushed British Champion Gemma Upfold all the way, narrowly losing 9-7 despite leading most of the fight. A very accomplished performance. Matt Roberts came from 4-1 down to 4-3 in the quarter finals of the -89kg category against the man who would go on to win the title. The referees missed a clear shot with 3 seconds to go which would have taken the fight to extra time but it wasn’t to be his day.

With 8 new titles to boast on top of already topping the national medal charts at the KWON and 2nd at the Watford Open Nationals it’s strength-to-strength for TEAM EPIC.

The team’s next adventure is the worlds biggest WAKO tournament- the Irish open! March 3rd-6th.