On the 4th March 2011 Genesis Martial Arts students and instructors made their way over to Dublin, Ireland, for the biggest open Martial Arts tournament in the world, The Irish Open! Every year thousands of athletes from all around the world arrive at the City West Hotel, for 4 days of intense action (and fun!). With so many associations nowadays, practically anyone and everyone is a World Champion of one thing or another. The Irish Open is unique in that everyone attends, making this the one title to win above all others.
The Genesis Team consisted of: Instructors Corey Cain, Matthew Jackson, Paul Busby and Les Austin, fighters Raj Chiripal, Daniel Savage and Arjun Dulay, along with spectactors Petar Stevanovic, Paul Benedetti and a few other close friends.
First up after the weigh in was the team event on the Friday evening. With Paul Busby behind his Team SAP UK, Genesis was represented by Raj Chiripal who took an open place on the ‘Maddogs’ team from Stoke. A first round win against a strong Irish team set up a second round showdown with the world famous Team USA Allstars, a team that have won this whole event several times and have names like Raymond Daniels present. Raj was selected to fight Willie Hicks from USA. This was a huge fight for Raj, who after initially losing a few points, found his way with his perfectly timed defense jab, and with 20 seconds to was winning 9-7! Hicks pulled out a headkick in the dying seconds, meaning Raj finally lost this one by only a single point, a massive achievement against a totally professional and world famous rival. Team USA went onto the final, where they finally lost to Team Kiraly from Hungary.
Saturday came and brought us the mens semi contact and light contact sections. Arjun Dulay started the day off for Genesis in fine form in the mens -57kg section. This was Arjun’s first ever attempt in a mens category. As said this is THE title to win in the world today. One mens section had 94 competitors in it, and over 60 of them were CURRENT World Champions. Every fight is a world championship final. Arjun won his first ever adults fight against a Hungarian, before losing out to the eventual winner(!) in the second round.
Raj Chirpal was up next in the mens under 63kg light contact. Raj is one of the top fighters in this division, so the expectations were set high. Raj didn’t disappoint… fight one was a unaminous decision win over an Italian fighter, fight 2 was another unaminous win against a Romanian. A semi final matchup was set against Gio Marchese, a top fighter from Bristol, this time a split decision win for Raj, putting him in the final against the current World Full Contact Champion at this weight (an Irish fighter). The first round of the final was close and could have gone either way, the second round Raj started edging ahead with several clean head kicks scoring, this was looking like his fight!! The end of the fight came, and to everyone’s disbelief we had a split decision in favour of the Irish fighter! The disappointment was obviously there, however a 2nd place in the toughest tournament in the world isn’t exactly bad going and a great advert for Genesis.
Next up was Daniel Savage in the mens light contact -74kg division. This was Dan’s first ever international outing, a massive step up from anything he has experienced in the UK. Dan was up against an Italian fighter. This was a close fight, however the Italians experience showed through and he took the decision.
Raj Chiripal was up again for the Semi Contact -63kg section. Raj beat an Italian easily in the first round, before losing out to a fighter from Team Full Circle (USA). The first round was a draw however Raj’s American rival pulled away in the second.
Arjun Dulay was up again next for his under 18 sections, where he entered both the under 165cm and +165cm categories. Arjun was on fire in the under 165cm, beating 2 Italian fighters and then one Irish fighter on the run, just to get to the Quarter Finals! Arjun eventually lost here by sudden death (first to score) after a very, very close fight. Tired from his previous fights Arjun lost the first round of the +165cm section in extra time.
Now it was time to sit back and relax as the action unfolded. Martial Arts Superstar Raymond ‘The Real Deal’ Daniels went on to win the main event (Openweight section) AGAIN, for the 8th year running. This is a feat which will NEVER be beaten, this guy has to be seen to be believed! The UK star Michael Page put on a good show for everyone, and finally the after party was as great as always 😉
Next year we will be looking for more students from Genesis to step forward and represent us at the Worlds greatest tournament, so if that sounds like you then it’s time to get training!!! See you all next year, in Dublin, at the IRISH OPEN.