On Sunday 11th July 2010, participants from the Osmani Taekwondo Club bagged 5 medals at the 11th Universal Taekwondo Federation (UTF) British National Open. The Osmani Taekwondo Club has been running for a mere 6 months and out of the 120 participants, emerged a group of 5 elite fighters who were ready to fight in an international tournament. For the past 3 months, Kajimur Rahman, Safian Hussain, Kodorul Amin, Hamza Jolil and Abdul Muneem had intensified their training regime to become fight ready. These 5 warriors made light work of sparring sessions attending 4 times per week, visited the gym on a daily basis, completed weight training to build muscle mass, altered their diet and shredded 1 stone to make the weight category.
On the day it was an early start for the fighters, as the coach left for the K2 Arena in Crawley at 6:00 a.m. The tournament began with a weigh in, with all the fighters making their weight category – the training had paid off for phase 1, ‘making the weight’. Whilst waiting for their own fight to begin, the Osmani participants had to observe a number of fighters (including the opponents that they would be facing) from multiple countries including Malta, Holland, Uzbekistan, France and Portugal. In the face of witnessing multiple knock outs, injuries and defeats, the Osmani fighters showed nerves of steel and composure as they scoured their opponents for weaknesses. The training had paid off for phase 2, ‘ridding the nerves’.
At 4:30 pm, it was fight time for the Osmani participants. Abdul Muneem kicked off with a high paced fight with punches and kick combinations coming from all angles. With seconds remaining and losing on points, Abdul Muneem produced a blister of lightning quick kicks, making multiple contacts in 10 seconds and earning a huge 4 points. His quick thinking and staying calm in the face of defeat won him his fight with true style and fashionable lateness, earning him a place in the final, where he went on to lose and receive silver.
With all of the fighters doing well in their rounds, the only thing that was able to stop the powerful Kodorul Amin was an experienced fighter two belts above him and significantly taller. Likewise, the speedy Kajimur Rahman was haulted by a foreign, more experienced fighter who picked off his shots and narrowly defeated him, despite being on the back foot for the majority of the fight. Both of the fighter’s performances earned them bronze medals.
Hamza Jolil comfortably cruised into the final, winning his fights with comfort and style, where he went on to lose and earn the silver for Osmani. The training for phase 3 had paid off for our fighters, ‘winning a fight’.
Although all of the Osmani fighters had produced exceptional performances thus far, this was the calm before the storm. Safian Hussain was in the final competing for a gold medal. His experienced opponent showed exceptional footwork and was elusively dodging Safian’s powerful shots and selectively making contact with his own. Safian was trailing for the duration of the fight and there was now only 15 seconds remaining with the score being 8 – 10. Something spectacular would be required for Safian to win the fight at this late stage and something spectacular is exactly what Safian produced. Knowing that it was too late to make up the point deficit, Safian deployed a powerful spinning hook kick, connecting the opponent squarely in the face with his heal, knocking his opponent out cold. His move was the knock out of the tournament and produced by one of the newest fighters out of the 500 competitors in the tournament. Safian had won in style, completing the training objective of phase 4, ‘winning the gold’.
The Osmani Taekwondo Club entered the tournament alongside its sister club Hadri Taekwondo. The two clubs in combination came 3rd place at the finals, collectively winning 8 Gold medals, 12 silver and 9 bronze, a total of 29.
The Taekwondo tournament was a day that all Osmani and Hadri participants can be proud of and the start of great things to come.
The Osmani Taekwondo Club is run by the Healthy Futures Project. Healthy Futures is one of eight projects of Osmani Trust, which is a youth and community charity organisation operating in East London. The Healthy Futures project hopes to instil healthy lifestyles for targeted communities from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Healthy Futures engages over 200 young people on a weekly basis in a range of activities including football, basketball, taekwondo, badminton and health workshops.
If you are interested in any of the activities that Healthy Futures provides or want to find out more about Healthy Futures, contact the Healthy Futures team on 020 7247 8080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org