December Grading 2018


Bringing an amazing end to the semester, on the 15th December 2018, University of Birmingham Taekwondo held yet another successful grading. We had 10 members grading for the first time, 6 for their green tags, 1 for green belt and 1 for blue belt.

It was great to see so many members progressing incredibly well in Taekwondo, as everyone showed their hard work and indomitable spirit.

The day ended with delicious cake left over from our bake sale, held on 12th December 2018, which was well deserved.

It has been such an enjoyable semester and we look forward to seeing everyone in 2019.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from University of Birmingham Taekwondo!

[Sharon Chan, Social Media Officer]

Autumn Championships 2018



On 18th November 2018, the University of Birmingham Taekwondo Club participated in the Autumn Championships at Jean Brown Indoor Arena, London.

Fabian Burkhardt competed in the A-class Kukkiwon Poomsae male division and impressively achieved a silver medal. He was surprised at the number of participators as there were 33 other Universities and 125 patterns competitors overall. Nevertheless, Fabian executed his performance fantastically and accomplished incredible results.

Coached by Fabian, Richard Pearce participated in the A-class WT Sparring division. Having had previous experience as an ITF fighter, Richard entered the Autumn Championships in prospect of gaining insight at his first WT competition with the BSTF. Amazingly, Richard placed 5th amongst many other very experienced fighters.

The Autumn Championships was extremely successful for both Richard and Fabian and the club is immensely proud of their results. This has been a fruitful first competition of the academic year and we are very excited for more.

[Sharon Chan, Social Media Officer 18/19]

BSTF 2018


On 10-11th March 2018, University of Birmingham Taekwondo University of Birmingham Taekwondo Club competed at the 32nd Student National Taekwondo Championships at University of Worcester Arena, in both sparring and patterns.

The team was coached by Hamid Ghayoorzadeh, Lee Bryan and Tom Hughes, and consisted of Ismael Coulibaly, Osanne Gbayere, Mark Elliot, Tom O’Sullivan, Joshua Munday, Antony Duff, Taran Chahal and Miles Dabbs. They all fought extremely well to earn four medals:
– Ismael Coulibaly – Gold
– Osanne Gbayere – Gold
– Mark Elliot – Silver
– Tom O’Sullivan – Bronze

After an intense first fight ending in a sudden death round, Ismael Coulibaly then sailed through his remaining fights to win gold. Mark Elliot won an impressive two fights despite sustaining an early back injury, which eventually cost him his last fight to leave him with a hard-earned silver medal. Osanne Gbayere proved his skill by earning his second gold medal this term, having tasted his first victory one month ago at Lion’s Cup. Joshua Munday, pictured above in blue, won the first round of his first ever Taekwondo tournament fight with a magnificent headshot.

[Ann Lu, Social Media Officer]

Lion’s Cup, Nottingham

Seven club members – Antony Duff, Dan Wallace, Tom O’Sullivan, Henry Yao, Hettie Martin, Osanne Gbayere and Justin Tan – fought in the World Taekwondo style sparring tournament, coached by Hamid Ghayoorzadeh and Tom Hughes. With their skill, hard work and determination, they achieved 1 gold (Osanne), 4 silver (Antony, Dan, Tom, Henry) and 1 bronze (Hettie).

Highlights include a dramatic sudden death round for Dan Wallace. After a good start, fatigue lost Dan his 7 point lead, and the third round ended with a 14 point draw. Hettie Martin, who has recently participated in Army Taekwondo trials, also completed in poomse (patterns) as well as sparring. Osanne sailed through his fight to win gold with plenty of energy to spare.


For many of our fighters, this was their first Taekwondo tournament after their first grading, and we are looking forward to seeing them achieve even more at Nationals next month.

The club enjoyed some well-earned Thai food at Zaap after the competition, followed by some intense Uno, Battleships, Connect 4 and Chess at board game cafe Ludorati.

Many thanks to Hamid G and Tom H for coaching; and to Mahisa, Tom H and Youssef for driving.

[Ann Lu, Social Media Officer]

5 Medals from Challenge Cup

On Sunday 3rd December, University of Birmingham Taekwondo Club competed at the British Student Taekwondo Federation Challenge Cup, held at Aston University.

All five of our competitors achieved Silver or Bronze medals, with their determination and spirit as well as the expert coaching of Hamid Ghayoorzadeh, Lee Bryan and Tom Hughes.

Mark Elliot and Hao Guo both earned Silver medals. Despite being ITF-style fighters, they chose to compete in the WT division in line with the club’s training style, which makes their achievement especially impressive.

Sarah Akponasa showed beautiful technique in her fights but lost to an old adversary to leave with a Bronze medal. Justin Tan and Usman Ali also achieved Bronze medals, Usman fighting his way into a staggering 20 point lead in his first fight.

Taekwondo club look forward to taking members who have just started Taekwondo to their first competitions, as on Saturday 9th December we were proud to see a staggering 23 people take their first ever grading, to make them eligible for competitions.

Participation in training, competitions and social events has been outstanding in this crucial first term and the club is excited for a busy 2018 with both new and old members.

[Ann Lu, Social Media Officer]

BSTF 2017

On 4-5th March 2017, University of Birmingham Taekwondo Club made an outstanding performance at the 31st Student National Taekwondo Championships at University of Worcester Arena.

The club’s 8 competitors came away with an impressive 5 medals in sparring, with Ismael Mekene Coulibaly and Mahammad Ouattara also qualifying for the European Universities Championships in July 2017, to be held in Portugal.
• Ismael Mekene Coulibaly – gold
• Mahammad Ouattara – gold
• Jayan Patel – gold
• Mohamed Fawzy – silver
• Usman Ali – bronze

[Ann Lu, Social Media Officer]