Bahrain to host martial arts event
Manama , August 29, 2011
Bahrain is set to host an Olympic-style Taekwondo tournament in a bid to promote martial arts across the country.
The event, due to take place in December, will give participants a chance to showcase their skills and prepare them for international competitions.
It is the brainchild of Bahrain's Taekwondo master and Al Doy Olympic Centre founder and chairman Abdulla Isa Al Doy.
"The plan is to hold a local tournament at the centre in December," he said. "It will be open to anyone in Bahrain who wants to take part and we will have medals and cash prizes for the winners. We are lucky enough here that we are the only centre in the region with international standard electronic scoring system and we want to use this.”
"Everything will be organised to the high class of the big international tournaments, with the proper elevated stages and training and warm-up areas. We want to run this in the Olympic style so that the competitors get a chance to see what it is like and this will also help us for taking part in the international competitions in the future."
Despite having only recently returned from his role as coach to the Al Doy Olympic Centre team at the eighth annual ChunCheon Open International Taekwando Championships 2011 in Korea, Al Doy has already turned his attention to the next season.
Included on the schedule of events for the coming year are planned trips to the British, US and, for the first time, Sweden where his students will be pitted against world class competitors.
But the ChunCheon Open remains the focal point of the season for Al Doy and he has firmly set his sights on increasing Bahrain's representation at the event.
"I see some groups and they bring only a small amount of people to Korea because they are worried others aren't good enough," he said.
"For me, it is more important that students get experience of the tournament and take part. I say to them, even if I die, I will make sure there is somebody to take you to Korea. I want to see that we have 10 more people in our group every year.”
"This year we had 11 so next year I want to see 20 and the year after that 30 and then 40 and so on."
The Bahrain contingent were among more than 2,000 fighters from more than 80 countries worldwide, including the US, Mexico, Thailand, China, Japan, Malaysia, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iraq taking part in this year's ChunCheon Open.
Headed by Jaber Al Dossary and managed by Huda Mohammed, the group visited the home of World Taekwondo in Kukkiwon and the Kukkiwon Museum and Hoban Gym in ChunCheon.
They also got the opportunity to meet the British 2012 Olympic Taekwondo team and officials from the World Taekwondo Federation.
More significantly for Al Doy and the status of Taekwondo in Bahrain, though was that the group secured an impressive tally of nine medals across the children's, sub-junior, junior and senior age categories.
This included a gold for Hadi Yousif Nasser and silver for Laalea Al Balawi.
"Korea is the homeland and origin of this art and has an authentic history in organising tournaments," said Al Doy.
"It is great for us to go there to improve our students' self-confidence and independence by exchanging cultures and personal experiences. They are also able to gain more Taekwondo sparring experience and skills through international participation. This year's tournament was very tiring but a great success.”
"We got to experience some of the culture of Korea and see the history of martial arts. It was a great achievement for these kids to win medals when sometimes they had five or six fights on the same day."
The Al Doy Olympic Centre is located at the Riffa Club and is open all year round to new and prospective members. – TradeArabia News Service