Here’s the UCL Taekwondo squad ready to ruin King’s

‘The only thing weaker than their kicks is their banter’


As we enter the home stretch of 2016’s London Varsity Series, UCL are devastatingly behind. But with crucial points up for grabs over the next few days, UCLU Taekwondo are looking to even up the score and maintain their unbeaten record.

Sparring starts at 7pm on Thursday at Somer’s Town Community Sports Centre – about a five minute walk away from Mornington Crescent.

With student tickets a mere £5 there’s no excuse not to head out for an evening of roundhouse kicks to the face.

We spoke to Sabrina and Sergiel who talked us through the team.

Sabrina, 2nd year, Theoretical Physics, Red Belt (WTF) Blue Tag (ITF) – Women’s Captain

 

  • Category: B Class -46kg
  • Training time: 2.5 years
  • Gold medal in B Class WTF sparring at Imperial Open 2015

“I started martial arts because being able to fight people is a good way to make up for my height and I stuck with Taekwondo because there’s nothing cooler than learning to do a 540 kick. Also when doing a degree in theoretical physics you feel the need to beat someone up everyone once in a while and Taekwondo allows me to do that. I became Captain because after winning Varsity last year I wanted nothing more than to help lead our team to inevitable victory for another year running.”

Sergiel, 2nd year, Biochemistry, Red Belt (WTF) Blue Belt (ITF) – Men’s Captain

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  • Category: A Class -58kg
  • Training time: 4 years
  • Gold medal in B Class WTF sparring Imperial Open 2014 and 2015

“I joined Taekwondo because martials arts was on my list of things to do while I had the vitality that came with being young. UCLU Taekwondo has been a massive thrill because no feeling comes close to a cheeky headshot or being part of a club that you can consider family. I ran for captain out of love for the club and that attachment will never dwindle. With our fighters this year, we’re gonna send King’s home with one massive headache and an empty trophy shelf for the 3rd year running.”

Dmitrii, 1st year, Civil Engineering, 2nd Dan Black Belt (ITF)

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  • Category: A Class -74kg
  • Training time: 13 years
  • Gold medal in A class sparring  WTF and ITF at Imperial Open 2014 and Student Nationals 2015

“I started Taekwondo because I wanted to survive in a place as hardcore as Russia. What I love about Taekwondo is the crowd, doing it all with very determined and successful people. Why are we going to beat King’s? We outperform them in everything: speed, power, good-looks and modesty.”

Carla, 2nd year, Computer Science, Blue Tag (WTF)

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  • Category: B Class -46kg
  • Training time: 2 years
  • Gold medal in WTF sparring at Imperial Open 2015 and Nationals 2016

“Why do I love UCLU Taekwondo? The satisfaction of landing a kick, mainly to someone’s head, and of course our coach Amar – shout out to the most dedicated and passionate instructor I know (I think he loves us almost as much as Nando’s). Why are we going to beat King’s? We train insane. So far this year we have dominated every competition we entered and these fights will be no different.”

Min Wen, 3rd year, Economics, 2nd Dan Black Belt (ITF)

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  • Category: A Class -49kg
  • Training time: 15 years
  • Gold – A Class WTF –  Imperial Open 2014 and Student Nationals 2015

“I started Taekwondo because it was considered cool to know a martial art (I was 9 then). I kept at it because I genuinely enjoy the sport and because I have had incredible and dedicated instructors at every stage of my Taekwondo journey. Why are we going to beat King’s? We have great fighters, and a supercomputer as our coach.”

Chaniel, 1st year, Classics, 3rd Degree Black Belt (WTF)

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  • Category: A Class -54kg
  • Training time: 15 years
  • Gold medal in A Class WTF sparring at Imperial Open 2015

“I started Taekwondo when I was 4 because my mum always believed in the importance of self-defence, so she signed me up to a club. I love Taekwondo as the techniques are so dynamic and it requires vast amounts of skill, dedication and perseverance, qualities one naturally acquires through regular training. What I also love about it is that, despite being an individual competitor sport, there is a clear team/family atmosphere, especially with a club as huge as UCL. My aim is to compete in European/International tournaments and medal. Why are we are going to beat King’s? We are a complete class above them in every sense. Also, they’re all KCLosers and KC smells… #UCwhat.”

Amirah, 1st year, PPE, 2nd Degree Black Belt (WTF)

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  • Category: A Class -46kg
  • Training time: 11 years
  • Silver medal in A Class WTF sparring at Nationals 2016

“I started Taekwondo to learn self defence, I stayed because I found joy in fighting people in the ring, specifically when I land kicks to someone’s face. Also, I’ve had the opportunity to train with amazing teams like UCL.”

Noura, 1st year, Arts and Sciences, 2nd Degree Black Belt (WTF)

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  • Category: A Class -53kg
  • Training time: 7 years
  • Bronze medal in A Class WTF Sparring at Nationals 2016

“Well I went into martial arts because Mulan has been my idol since, essentially, the day I was born. Being very politically active and wanting to be taken seriously in a male-dominated society, I wanted to be as kickass as she was. Also I mean what’s not to like about Taekwondo? It’s fun, keeps you active, you get to kick all your frustration out three times a week and it’s ridiculously hardcore! Also, we’re gonna beat King’s because WE BLEED PURPLE. #UCL #KickTogetherStickTogether”

Chloe, 3rd year, History, Blue Belt

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  • Category: B Class -57kg
  • Training time: 8 years (on and off)
  • Gold medal in B Class WTF sparring and Paired Poomsae at Nationals 2016

“I started Taekwondo to gain more confidence, and it turns out I really enjoy kicking people in the face! Taekwondo is a great way to let out steam, keep fit and really experience team spirit without actually having to do a team sport. And learning to defend yourself and kick all the things feels pretty awesome! I really hope we beat King’s again this year; it will be our third victory in three years of Varsity!”

Cissy, 4th year, Biomedical Engineering, Blue Belt

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  • Category: B Class -57kg
  • Training time: 3 years
  • Silver medal in B Class WTF sparring at Nationals 2016

“I started because life is stressful and where better to channel aggression than through a martial art? What I love about taekwondo is the community; you train as a team, but compete as an individual with people your team screaming and cheering for you. Let’s beat kings with our unbreakable spirit and radiant smiles.”

Sara, 3rd year, Medicine, Yellow Belt

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  • Category: C Class -53kg
  • Training time: 6 months
  • Gold medal in C Class WTF sparring at Imperial 2015 and Nationals 2016 and Paired Poomsae

“Why I love taekwondo? Smaller people also have the power to destroy and no cake comes close to the taste of victory. Also it’s cheaper than Netflix. Why are we going to beat King’s? The only thing weaker than their kicks is their banter.”