Dave Shillabeer, owner and chief instructor at DS Taekwondo, was crowned European champion for the fourth time in Poland recently after winning gold in the musical patterns championship.
The fourth-degree black belt tells us about the achievement:
“First up for me was the Individual Traditional Patterns event. Despite being European and World Musical Patterns champion, I had never medalled in this event at any European or World Championships so I was delighted to be awarded the highest scores and the gold medal.
Next event for me was the Special Technique event, which consisted of having to kick a high target with a flying kick, which then was moved up higher each time - a little like the high jump in the athletics.
I was successful on several heights and the target was moved up until only myself and one other guy remained- a rather tall Ukrainian guy, who eventually kicked higher than me and left me in second place.
After this I then put my sparring equipment on and focused on trying to retain my European champion title from the last championships in 2014 in Davos.
Unfortunately I was narrowly beaten 10-9 by a fighter from the Irish Team so had to the switch my attention back to my penultimate event- the Power Destruction competition.
We had to break multiple boards with bare hands or feet using specified techniques.
I managed to break through six boards using side kick and came second as a big Ukrainian guy again pipped me to the post with a break of seven boards.
Not a bad result as he must’ve weighed almost twice what I do! My final event was the Tag Team sparring in which teams of three men of any weight, fight against each other tagging in and out as points are scored.
Joining forces with two other English team members was great fun and provided a great atmosphere, and after winning our first fight against a Polish team we were beaten by a few points by the Ukrainian team so we were awarded bronze.
The finale of the competition is the International Teams event and Team Scotland edged out team England in the final to become European Team Champions. A great result for the UK, and for me personally, becoming European Champion for the fourth time.
Thanks to all my students at my two clubs (Crookes and Stannington) who let me have a few days off from teaching them to be able to compete and bring back the gold!”