Over 40 athletes from the Woo Kim Taekwondo school travelled to Parksville last weekend to take part in the Island Open Taekwondo Championships.
From six-year-old white belts to adult black belts, all athletes performed well and displayed great confidence. All told, the 40-plus athletes brought home 18 gold medals and over 55 medals in total (most athletes competed in more than one event). Competitions included sparring, forms and pairs forms.
“It’s great for us to have an event like this on the Island,” said instructor Richard Dobbs. “It can be tough to make the trip over to the Mainland for other tournaments, but our turnout shows the good level of interest in taekwondo here on the Island.”
For many students this tournament is their first experience at competitive martial arts. “It can be a little scary at first,” said John Robinson, 6, “but it was a lot of fun. I’m definitely coming back next year!”
Competitive taekwondo is a contact sport, so there is always a risk of injury, however, tournament organizers, officials and masters will always do their best to ensure a positive experience for the athletes. Only after students earn a black belt, and are over 14 years old, do they allow contact to the head. This ensures most injuries are kept to bumps and bruises.
Next for the club is their annual Black Belt Test June 6-7. There will be six students testing for their black belt as well as demonstrations from Dobbs and his fellow black belts. Afterwards Dobbs will travel to Toronto for the Pan Am Games as a spectator for the taekwondo competition.
Registration is on now for week-long summer camps at the Courtenay Recreation Centre. To inquire about classes contact Richard Dobbs directly at 250-897-2452 or the Comox/Courtenay recreation centres.
– Woo Kim Taekwondo