The Wm. E. Hay Settler Secondary Campus’ parking lot was crowded this past Saturday, Jan. 28 as more than 200 competitors and 500 spectators, including friends, families and Taekwondo lovers descended upon the high school gymnasium to participate in the seventh annual Hammerfest, hosted by Stettler Dual Dragons.
“It’s amazing to see the positive influences from all the people involved with the event, whether they’re competing, spectating, sponsoring or volunteering,” said Dave Hargreaves, main organizer and 5th Dan Chief International TaeKwon-Do Instructor. “It has really become quite an awesome event.”
Among the schools that competed this year were Dual Dragons TaeKwon-Do of Stettler, Bashaw, Rimbey and Red Deer; Hetlinger TaeKwon-Do of Wetaskiwin; Headhunter TaeKwon-Do of Wainwright; Legion TaeKwon-Do of Hanna, Veteran and Oyen; Cheney Karate and Kickboxing of Red Deer and Lacombe; and Black Dragon Martials Arts of Red Deer and Lousana.
“We have many different levels of competitors throughout the day,” Hargreaves said. “Starting with Black Belt Forms, which was a set pattern of movements, to the Lil’ Dragons of ages four and five, with their Forms, to junior level competitors of years six to 10, also with their Forms,” Hargreaves added. “The winners were decided by a comparison vote by a panel of judges.”
This was followed by Black Belt sparring and Lil’ Dragons sparring, finishing the morning with Junior sparring.
According to Hargreaves, each competitor had a single round/double elimination and was awarded victory by accumulating points.
“A Black Belt ‘power hour’ was held after that with the Black Belts demonstrating breaking techniques on boards and bricks,” said Hargreaves. “Later, youth and adult Forms and sparring followed using the same format as the morning.”
Hargreaves and his wife Cindy are owners of Dual Dragons TaeKwon-Do and put on this show every year.
“I am the Chief Instructor of the Stettler and Red Deer branches, while Mr. Bengert instructs for us in Rimbey, Mr. UnKauf in Bashaw and Mrs. Russell in Whitehorse,” Hargreaves added. “I’ve been active with the Stettler branch almost since it’s inception in 1989 joining in 1990.”
During the tournament there were draw tables for various prizes, with all proceeds going towards Kidsport, Stettler.
“We were able to raise $630 and are thankful for our long-term sponsors – Stettler GM, Heartland Auto and Industrial Supplies, Bashaw Concrete Products and Bond-O Communications,” Hargreaves said. “All the volunteers throughout the day made the tournament a complete success, without whom we wouldn’t be able to pull this off, so thank you for your time and interest.”