A MARTIAL arts school has been crowned the best in the country for the third year in a row.

Vale Taekwondo, based at The Beacon in Wantage, was named overall school champions at the England Open earlier this month, beating 58 other schools to the title.

Vale TKD won 20 gold medals, 12 silvers and 18 bronzes, to earn a record-breaking 111 points, the most ever achieved by any English school at a national championship.

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Vale TKD instructor Carl Davis said: “This finishes off our fantastic year of showing up in force at all UKTA competitions and supporting the competitions.

“We finished with an incredible 110 golds, 53 silver and 50 bronze medals from the five national championships in 2023, claiming overall school in all but the Scottish overall school title, where we came a remarkable second in the entire UK, beating many local large Scottish Schools, losing out to RAM Martial Arts from Glasgow. 

“These UK championships saw us crown many national champions, with Sean McIntyre claiming overall adult male black belt with his double gold, Ayana Kraus winning a very competitive group of overall under-14 female competitor with double gold, and Marcin Jedrzejowski winning overall veteran colour belt.

“I am incredibly proud of not only the performances and results of these UK championships, but our success over the last three consecutive years nationally.

thisisoxfordshire: Natasha Turner for Vale TaekwondoNatasha Turner for Vale Taekwondo (Image: Vale TKD)

“We have had many first-time competitors winning many medals on their first ever competition, in some of the largest groups on the day.

“We have had those almost too nervous to compete and wanting to not show up, but after some reassurance from the instructor and fellow clubmates, they decided to give it a go and ended up winning a medal and having the biggest smile on their face. 

“It’s these moments which mean the most. Winning is of course the goal for anyone who attends, and being overall school is the wish or goal for any instructor out there, so to achieve this multiple times doesn’t lose its appeal.

“I feel more obliged to continue to win overall school after each one accomplished. 

“I am very grateful to all who have competed, coached and umpired at all 2023 events, and look forward to doing it all again next year, plus to try to win the Scottish overall school.”

Vale TKD’s long list of national champions includes Davis, plus Harry Brokenshire, Archie Cox, Imogen Gale, Kevin Geoghegan, Edward James, Naveh Kraus, Gabriella Rhodes, Max Rhodes, Evie Stoermer, Natasha Turner and Sebastian Zywko.