Two young martial artists from Stettler are setting their eyes on the bringing home titles from the Tae Kwon Do world championships in Telfor, England on Sept. 11 and 12.
Cade Bengert and Dave Hargreaves of Dual Dragons Tae Kwon Do Studio in Stettler will be competing with the Canadian contingency with 14 black belt contenders with Tae Kwon Do International Canada under the banner of Unified Team Canada.
My personal goal is to place well in the “forms” competition and also “stop – point” and “team” sparring events,” said Hargreaves.”
“Physically and mentally we’re both in great shape for the competition and feel confident in our performances.”
“As captain of Unified Tae Kwon Do Team Canada, I’m hoping to gain experience to be able to enter and lead future teams.”
Both definitely have their eyes set on world championships.
“To win any competition, all our skills and training (and a bit of luck) have to come together at one time,” said Hargreaves.
“I feel confident in being able to do that in England and hopefully that’ll help me place well.”
“UTI has sent previous teams and all have fared well so we’re in good hands with our present coach Mr. Godwin of Wainwright.”
Both have been training specifically for the world championships for the last five months.
“For the forms event we have had to brush up on our International Tae Kwon Do forms.”
Sparring events are “full contact” which is a little heavier than what they are used to, so they have been attending kickboxing and open tournaments around Alberta.
Bengert is also optimistic
“I feel I am in the best shape I have ever been in and I am confident in my skills and I am ready for anything that gets thrown at me,” he said.
“It is my first time competing at the world championships, so winning would be outstanding. I just hope to do my best and learn something along the way.”
He believes he has the best shot at placing high in musical forms.
In forms, he would like to at least make it into the second round.
“Sparring is not my best event, so winning one match on the world stage would be amazing,” he said.
“The selection process for the team started two years ago and to be accepted, we were observed competing in tournaments, seminars, and training sessions,” said Hargreaves.
They also participated in try-outs in March in Camrose.
To gear up, the two participated in many extra training sessions over the summer in Wainwright, Camrose, and Saskatoon.
“The coaches we have are located in these centers and will ensure we are up to the fitness levels we need and running us through specific drills for the level of competition we will be facing,” said Hargreaves.
Both are grateful for the community support.
“I want to thank everyone in the community who has supported Mr. Hargreaves and myself,” said Bengert.
“My co-workers and enployer at Tim Hortons have been hugely supportive to me personally.”
“I hope my performance in England will make my country, my town, and my team proud.”
Hargreaves specially thanks the Stettler community, all his students, friends and local businesses for showing their great support,
“It really helps motivate both Cade and myself to train that much harder and really focus on this event.”