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Estevan club impresses at tae kwon do worlds

Wayne Brown and Don Dechief have faced off lots of times in the training room. This time, it was for a world gold medal in patterns.
Members of the Canadian team, including three from Estevan, pose with tae-kwon-do masters from around the world during the GTF championship in Scotland.

Wayne Brown and Don Dechief have faced off lots of times in the training room.

This time, it was for a world gold medal in patterns.

Dechief's gold medal victory in that match-up was one of the highlights of the Estevan Tae Kwon Do Club's venture to the Global Tae Kwon Do Federation world championship earlier this month in Dundee, Scotland.

"When it was all said and done, we walked up and they said 'This is for the gold and silver,' and we said 'Really?'" Brown recalled.

"It was pretty cool to have two Canadians there. He got the best of me."

Brown and Dechief, along with Beckey Franke, represented Estevan while Kari Paxman and Samantha Paxman of the Lampman club also attended.

Franke, a first-degree black belt, surpassed her own expectations by earning three golds in patterns, sparring and breaking, which the Scots call destruction.

"I was not expecting that at all. I was just hoping to go and do my best and not let the nerves take over. It all just happened," she said.

Dechief also earned bronze in sparring. Kari took home gold in hand breaking and bronze in patterns, and Samantha earned bronze in patterns and sparring.

The event brought together 276 black belts from 16 countries.

"Scotland was over and above to make everyone feel welcome. They were a fantastic host," said Brown.

Dechief said he found some humour in the way countries entered the ring for team events.

"The way they entered the ring was really (reflective) of the way they do things in their country. Russia came out and marched, militaristic. The team from Puerto Rico had lots of energy, lots of yelling and screaming and cheering," he said.

Other tae kwon do masters at the event commented on Estevan's performance.

"After they had seen the results we got, they were very impressed and that really confirmed and substantiated our club and that what we're doing is in the right direction," Brown said.

"There's no doubt that we're there, but there's lots to learn as far as how to get better and how to compete nationally and internationally."

The trio also spent time touring the countryside during their visit.

"They say Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and I haven't been to every country but boy, I gotta believe that," Dechief said.

They spent time in Edinburgh and visited Stirling, where a monument to William Wallace is located.

They also went to the Old Course at St. Andrews, although the weather didn't cooperate.

"It was freezing when we got there. Now I know why they wear toques and gloves at the British Open," Brown chuckled.

Franke stayed around to explore further for several days, citing one of her highlights as renting a bicycle and riding it around a Scottish island only 11 miles long.