The Sword of Friendship 2012
Mr. Cyril McSweeney’s Carrigtwohill Tae Kwon Do club recently played host to students from Warrior Martial Arts and United Taekwon-Do International Wales for the Sword of Friendship Tae Kwon Do tournament.
The Warriors fielded a Junior boys team and a mixed Senior team for the event and, although were unfortunate to miss out on the finals, had a very enjoyable day. The following report comes courtesy of www.carrigtwohilltaekwondo.com
Sword Of Friendship International Tournament
On Saturday last, the 13th of October,the J.H Kim Institute (Carrigtwohill Taekwondo Academy) welcomed teams from United Taekwondo International Wales and Warrior Taekwondo in Clonakilty to Carrigtwohill for the Sword Of Friendship international tournament. Wonderful sportsmanship coupled with bundles of skill and courage were the overriding themes of the day as the Welsh contingent, under the stewardship of Master Gary Brady brought a taste of Welsh flair to the East Cork town. Fantastic local competition was supplied by Mr. Barry O’Mahony’s very admirable students from Clonakilty.
The tone for the day was set early on as competitors warmed up for the team competitions to follow with a series of individual fights, designed to give a whole range of fighters, both young and old, big and small the opportunity to test themselves in a friendly arena. There was an exhilarating buzz around the hall as the opening rounds of the main team competitions got underway. The junior boys teams kicked off the festivities, showcasing an abundance of skill and courage as teams vied for a place in the finals that evening. The JH Kim School contributed two teams to the final, both fighting hard to overcome their Welsh and West Cork counterparts respectively. In the senior semi-finals,a mixture of youth and experience was evident as both semi’s went down to the wire. The JHK first team had to dig deep to overcome a very capable Warrior team,winning by the narrowest of margins. In the other semi,a spirited Welsh effort was enough to scrape through to the final as the other JHK senior team barely missed out on a place in the main event.
The sword itself,the main prize on offer, is a magnificent piece, given by the Welsh government modeled on the weapon of choice of the last known Prince of Wales. It is one of only two known swords of its kind in the world. As competition heated up, it became evident that all teams involved had designs on giving this incredible prize a home.
The atmosphere was immense as the teams made their way into the hall for the finals. In the girl’s finals, it was to be a Welsh-Irish encounter, a precursor to the senior event to follow. A great back and forth final was to unfold as the lead changed hands numerous times. Sudden death was needed to separate the two talented groups with the Welsh team eventually coming out on top, winning their own sword. The boys final was also to be a cracking affair as friendships were momentarily put aside as the two Carrigtwohill outfits went head to head, each determined to triumph. The result was second as sportsmanship and courage was displayed throughout by both sides, it was unanimous that all involved were a credit to themselves.
The curtain was brought down by the senior final where skill and determination was definitely at the fore as the tide continued to turn in what was a thrilling encounter. The Welsh team had a youthful tinge to it and brought a different style of attack to the well rounded Irish unit. The Irish took the patterns section whilst honors were even after the sparring. Going into the final, destruction section, Ireland were up by two points but were pegged back by a well constructed Welsh routine, to make the scoring even. It went down to a sudden death decider and Irish hearts were broken as the Welsh came away the victors.
The real winner on the day was Taekwondo and comradeship. This well-run tournament was the culmination of months of hard work for most involved and it was received by all in a friendly manner as the whole day went off without even a hint of tension or animosity that can often be found in other events.Credit must go to Master Brady for bringing a pool of such talented martial artists across the Irish sea for the event and to Mr.Barry O’Mahony for making the trip from West to East Cork with his crew of well-rounded students.
A huge thank you must go to the students and parents of the JH Kim Institute (Carrigtwohill ) for all their efforts on the day and in the weeks leading up to it, these are an incredible group of people who have helped make this wonderful event a reality. Speaking after the competition, Master Cyril McSweeney thanked all of the students and parents as well as the instructors who worked so hard to make the event such a success. The Welsh Team plan to host the Sword of Friendship Tournament in Cardiff’s City Hall in November 2013. We look forward to an exciting return visit to the principality.