March 28, 2010
On Saturday I competed in the Eastern Canadian Championships in Montreal along with 250 other competitors. I am extremely happy to say that all my hard work paid off.
First I competed in Patterns. I worked really hard for the last three weeks to work on a new pattern that I’ve never competed with. In the semi-finals I had to compete against the Junior National Champion from Trois-Riviers so I was pretty pumped. She beat me at the last tournament and that was a huge motivator for me for this tournament. We did a first round of patterns and then the judges got to pick a second pattern for us to perform. All the pattern names are written on a piece of paper and then put in a bag. The centre judge pulls out a name and that is the pattern that has to be performed. I knew I had to give every ounce of energy and strength that I possibly could but I was feeling really strong. After several minutes (if felt like hours standing there) the judges tallied their scores and announced that I was the winner. I could hardly breath I was so shocked. Then I had to continue right away in the finals against a girl from Nova Scotia. The first round was in my favour and then the judges got to pick a second pattern to make their final decision. It was ironic and unlucky because out of all the patterns they had to pick the one that I haven’t been taught yet. I knew right then and there that I had lost the first place position. I had nothing to lose so I attempted to start the pattern by remembering what I had seen other do…. but that didn’t get me too far . The judges were even laughing and gave me props for sportsmanship. I was still extremely pleased with earning the silver since I accomplished what I set out to do. Next tournament I will have learned ALL the patterns!!!! Get ready.
Then it was sparring time. I am in the hyper weight division. I hate it when they call it that. I personally prefer the term ‘muscle density and big boned division’. I am lucky that I don’t have to worry about dieting and cutting weight to stay in a weight category. Everyone else was so worried at the weigh-in on the Friday night. I always love the sparring and enjoy the strategy involved of earning points. Each sparring match comprised of two – two minute rounds and I won gold for sparring.
Now that I’m in the Junior Division there is a third category called ‘Power Breaking’. It was the first time I tried that and I won gold. Basically you take turns kicking through wooden 1 inch wooden boards until your opponents isn’t able to break theirs. The person who keeps breaking the boards wins. Each time you break a board they add an additional 1 inch board. I was able to break 4 inches. On my 2nd degree test I only had to break 3 boards. I wonder how many I can actually break? There are three fundamental movements – Side kick, turning kick and knife hand strike.
I love going to away-tournaments since I get to meet so many people from all across the country and we really get to know and support each other. I had a great time on the Friday night. A big group of us went out for dinner and it was exciting talking to the other competitors who competed at the Word Championships in Argentina last year. After the dinner everyone goes back to the hotel to stretch, gently go through patterns and gets re-focused for the next day. It’s funny how we compete against each other, but we’re all friends trying to help each other out. It’s like one big family. I feel just as comfortable being with the adult competitors as I do with the Juniors since we all have the same dedication and goals.
I am really looking forward to some good training seasons with the girls/women from Quebec next month.
We didn’t get home until 1:00 am and today I had soccer practice so I’m really tired and sore.
I’ll keep you posted……
March 20, 2010
It is the end of March Break and I’m tired and sore! This week I was a camp counselor for the Blackburn Taekwon-Do Camp. It was so much fun but hard work. It started at 8:30 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon. Every day there was intense cardio conditioning and hours of patterns and sparring. I also trained in the evening if Mr. LeGrow, my instructor needed help with the little dragons which is for younger children to get them ready for a normal class. I love teaching them because they are so full of excitement and spunk. I also helped Mr. LeGrow during a test for two junior belts. When I could, I trained in the evening during the regular classes. I loved helping out with the camp and it was a great way to spend my March Break. Not only was it a great experience teaching the kids, I also gained so much excellent training for myself.
This week I actually took the bus for my very first time. I had to be at the bus stop before 7:00 am to get there on time. I never even get up that early for school! I think it was a great idea so my mom and dad wouldn’t have to drive me there and back twice a day and now I know I can do it all summer as well. I was so nervous but at the same time really excited. I learned three very important things about taking the bus….
1. When taking the bus, wave the bus down so they realize that you would like to get on. I learned that they will pass you and not stop to let you on. Oops.
2. When wanting to get off the bus, it is important to press the stop button on the poles or grab the string above you. If you don’t, they will not stop at the bus stop, because they don’t know that anyone wants to get off. Bad idea not to press the button. Oops.
3. Always remember your bus tickets. If you don’t have them, you will not be getting on the bus. The first day I forgot to take the bus tickets from my mom. I missed the bus while she went to go get them and I had to wait for the next one. Oops.
So as you can see, this week has been full of excitement, hard work and brand new experiences (in and out of the dojang). I had a blast. Thanks Mr. LeGrow.
I had today off which was great to spend time hanging out with my girlfriends but tomorrow I will be back at the dojang for more Black Belt Competition training all afternoon.
This time next week I will be competing at the Eastern Canadian Championships. Yahoo!
March 7, 2010
Today I competed in the Ontario Invitational Championships held at Ashbury College in Ottawa. To be honest I was really nervous since I just received my 2nd degree two months ago and am just learning my new pattern. Patterns are normally my strength but it takes years to really master a pattern. I placed third so I know I have a lot of work to do before the Eastern Canadian Championships March 26th in Montreal! If anyone is looking for me, check the dojang!
I won the gold for sparring and I think it was the best sparring I’ve done in competition so I was pleased with that. This was a great tournament to see what I need to work on since the results don’t count for points towards the seeding system. It was also exciting because it was the first time I officially competed in the 14-17 year old age division. Now I know what I’m up against!
March 7, 2010
I got re-certified! Every year all Ontario Black Belts over 14 have to take the Umpire and Referee course. This really helps to keep a fair and even and consistent standard for tournaments. In the course we practise all the hand signals and the rules of the ring. We also review all the procedures and the point/scoring system. This is the second year that I’ve taken this course.