On Sunday 29th January the EPIC team took to the road again for the 2nd national level competition of the year. The Watford Open Nationals (WON) is a prestigious tournament and there were fighters from 10 nations present at the tournament. 19 EPIC warriors fought on the day.
Filled with budding enthusiasm and armed with tactics from their coaches the fighters (aged 6 up to late 20s) took to their task of taking home as much silverware as possible. The younger categories got underway with Harvey Pollard taking a bronze, Sean MacDonald taking a silver and a bronze and also golds for Katie Williams and Robyn Humphreys.
Tyrese Redgers took two bronze medals to add to his steadily growing collection.
Sean MacDonald, aged 7, overcame a tough semi final opponent where he was losing by 3 points at one stage before a rallying last 30 seconds saw him win by 9-6. He then came from 5-0 down to 5-4 in the final but the time ran out before he could level things up. His silver was more than merited.
Robyn took her first opponent apart with skilled kicking followed by quick hand techniques that allowed her to comfortably progress. The final was tough against a girl from Fighting Falcons, she twice fell behind on points before registering a win by a margin of three points.
Ashleigh Nelson met Katie Williams in an all-EPIC final and took gold with a late come back to win 3-2 from 2-0 down. This also meant that Katie added a silver to her gold. Daisy Humphreys narrowly missed out on gold by stepping out of the area, which gets you deducted a point, to lose by 1 point. She fought well and has sharpened up massively since the turn of the year.
Katie Williams then went on to take another gold with effective use of reverse punch countering, then following up with a bronze. She ended the day with 2 golds, 1 silver and one bronze! Ashleigh Nelson held her own to take a silver to add to her gold.
Alex Fellender-Evans and Harvey Tyler battled through their Light Continuous division to reach the final together. Tyler pulled out a stunning head kick to make sure of the points at the end and take gold, with Fellender-Evans having the silver. Harvey went on to add a 2nd and a 3rd too!
In the adults sections Molly Hershaw narrowly missed out 10-9 in her fight and in the dying seconds too, which was undeserved. Sarah West took on a highly skilled fighter in her continuous category and took a bronze despite the result being very close. Senior coach won 4-2 to reach the semi finals but fell on one technique and made one mistake at the end to lose 5-4 to a skilled fighter from Michael Page’s (MVP) Hands Down academy and take a bronze. Rakan Sabbah took home gold in the very last category to run of the competition. Three tasty fights which entertained the gathering crowds for the finale. Sabbah’s fitness told as he continued to push forward and attack.
Gold Medals- Katie Williams (2), Harvey Tyler, Robyn Humphreys, Ashleigh Nelson, Rakan Sabbah,
Silver Medals- Alex Fellender-Evans, Daisy Humphreys, Katie Williams, Sean MacDonald, Harvey Tyler.
Bronze Medals- Tyrese Redgers (2), Finlay Cozens, Matt Roberts, Sarah West, Katie Williams, Sean MacDonald, Harvey Tyler, Harvey Pollard.
Those who came Close- Molly Hershaw, Jack Pollard, Dylan Hunt, Finlay Haynes, Harry Rhodes. Oliver Hiscutt.
EPIC ranked second in the U.K. in this tournament. Next up: EPIC Open and British Championships.
Also a big mention and massive well done to all 70 competitors for Saturday’s beginner interclub competition!