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First TNZ Junior Kyorugi Development Seminar

(click for more photos)

TNZ invited under 17 Kyorugi member athletes to the first of a series of open development seminars which was held in Auckland over the weekend of the 28th & 29th January. In attendance were the TNZ Junior World Championship Team Coaches, Trainer, Manager, Team Doctor, National Team Head Coach and members of the TNZ High Performance Team.

The weekend introduced our athletes and participating members to the new techniques and strategies required at both elite national and international levels. The introduction of Electronic Body Pads (EBP) has seen revolutionary advancements and changes to sparring competition techniques. The changes that have occurred over the past 12 months at an international competition level are now beginning to filter down to national level. These changes impact on both our players and coaches alike.

Saturday’s programme involved fitness testing, team building, relevant sparring and exercise drills. The day was run by the TNZ Junior World Championship Coaching Team, Dafydd Sanders, Gina Guo, and Garry Carpenter. They were joined by 2008 Olympians Logan Campbell and Robin Cheong, along with Vaughn Scott. All of whom are current members of the TNZ High Performance Team. During the day our athletes received both group and individual training advice from the HP Team Athletes and TNZ Coaches. Also on hand were NZ Team Manager, Master Mike Hannah and NZ Team Doctor, Bren Dorman. Both provided valuable advice to our athletes about the necessary travel and health related preparation that is required for representing New Zealand at international events. Both Master Hannah and Doctor Dorman also spent time with those parents in attendance to provide further advice and answer the many questions that parents often have in relation to providing ongoing support for their children when competing internationally.

The structure for the Sunday programme centered around the new aspects and methods of both coaching and competing that are required by the athletes to be competitive overseas. TNZ National Team Head Coach Grandmaster Oh took an informative session consisting of many of the drills that emphasize the key basics when competing with Electronic Body Pad scoring. Grandmaster Oh provided valuable competition advice to the athletes and covered the relevant exercises that allow for the honing of speed, perception, deception and movement. The athletes finished the Sunday session with contact sparring, including the opportunity of sparring with Vaughn Scott who is currently the WTF's 16th ranked athlete (under 80kg Male). Vaughn was a member of the very first TNZ Junior Representative Team that competed at the Junior World Championships in Vietnam 2006. Six years later, Vaughn is a member of the senior HP Team and is currently a prospect for representing New Zealand at the 2012 Olympic Games. It was great having Vaughn there to share his experiences with our next generation athletes, clearly demonstrating that the pathway to the Olympics is achievable.

The weekend was wrapped up with a de-briefing from the TNZ Junior Team Coaches and some words of advice and encouragement from 2008 Olympian Robin Cheong. This was great as Robin shared with our junior athletes some of her many experiences on competing at elite level competitions. TNZ would like to thank all the TNZ coaches, officials and senior athletes who freely gave up their time to participate and help out over the weekend. The seminar was a truly valuable weekend for our TNZ athletes and members to attend.

The next TNZ Junior Kyorugi Development Seminar weekend for under 17's is the 3rd and 4th of March. Club coaches are also welcome to attend. Please email TNZ at; for details and keep an eye on our website. Please also note that this is an open seminar for any TNZ member athletes to attend who are aged 14 - 17 years, ranked Red Belt and above. Remember, it is a free seminar and you are welcome to attend. Further TNZ development seminars for both Kyorugi and Poomsae are being planned and will be announced in due course on our website.