Medal Haul at The Yorkshire Championships.

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On Sunday the 14th May Focus Teakwondo took a team of 5 to the Yorkshire Championships at Richard Duuns Sport Centre in Bradford. Out of 5 competitors the team brought away 5 medals with 2 new Yorkshire champions!

The team consisted of Chief instructor Chris Cocker, Assistant coach Byron Smith, Assistant Junior coach Mason Kelly, Lewis Cocker and Natasha-Jayne Wilkinson. Medals: Gold for Chris and Byron, And Bronze for Lewis, Mason and Natasha. 

The first gold medal went to Instructor Chris, having been coaching all day for the other 4 competitors it was very long and stressful day for Chris. Having no time to warm up or prepare himself for his match which was a straight final, Chris started off pretty slow going down 2-0 in the first round. After a good chat with step in coach Jack from All star Taekwondo Chris came out and started scoring some good body shots and a good head shot finally taking the score to 10-5.

The second gold medal went to assistant coach Byron, at the start of the year Byron set two goals to win an open and to medal at the British National Championships in September! This was Byrons first competition this year after come back from a fractured toe and he has already achieved his first goal!

Byron had to have 2 fights to take the gold, his Semi final match was against a good player from Scotland, Byron was much stronger and continued his brilliant record of scoring back kicks! The final score 18-10

His final match was 3 fights after Chris took gold and this time up against a Scorpion a very successful club, A bit more of a tactical performance shutting his opponent out making it difficult, the final score was 11-3!

Byron won the -55kg junior advanced category for his first ever time and still has a lot of time left in the category! Some big things for this young man in the next year!

The first of the Bronze medals went to Natasha, after 8 months out of fighting and only been back training a couple of months after getting over various injuries. Natasha was also in a higher weight group to her usual and fighting for her first ever time on the electric scoring system which is a system for advanced players and takes a long time to adjust to! Unfortunately after hitting to the body numerous times which would normally have scored on her normal system it just proved too much on this occasion! Chris (Chief instructor) said ‘It is really unfair to have novice category player on this system even if they do lower the scoring freehold, it is a system that is all about technique which in a sparring environment is also about timing, distance and experience, unless you are in a club that can afford the system to practice with other novices are at a big disadvantage! We had a similar situation with one of our other novice fighters earlier in the year his 2nd ever fight and was on the advanced system again on the normal system he would have taken that match too!’

Although there was a few things against her (Natasha) it was good to get back in the ring after a long time out and practice successfully things we have been working on!

The next Bronze medal came from our youngest member on the day Lewis, Lewis has just moved up into the advanced category and into a higher weight category. Lewis drew one of the strongest fighters in that category first and has previously come up against him before which he refused to fight due to him been a black belt. Lewis now a red belt he went into the match confident and put on a very experienced performance! the match was tied 3-3 at the end so was forced into a sudden death round where unfortunately he just lost out. This was lewis only ever second time on the electric scoring system which has had adapted to quite well!


The final Bronze medal came from our assistant junior coach Mason, Mason has just moved up from the children group to the cadet category which is 11-13 year olds quite a big gap in age for children of that age! Mason did his best on the day and couldn’t of done anymore he was just unfortunate to drew a much more experienced and older child, he tried things we have discussed and they worked at times. I am very confident that given a bit of growing room in the new category Mason can be a very strong contender.


Chris (Head coach) said ‘I am very happy with the performances of every member today, its the first time fighting this year for a lot of them so to put such strong performances in is encouraging for the rest of the year. I am also especially happy and impressed with Byron who has had a tough time the past couple of years playing catch up with the other competitors, he is now starting to show the quality we have always seen in him!’

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