Sunday, April 30, 2006

2 Golds and a Silver!

The tournament was awesome! There were 5 rings set up in the gym of the NMSBVI, and something like 150 competitors, from Tiger Cubs (ages 4-5) up to Black Belts.

We got there early to watch the Black Belt competition, which was amazing. Richard has just started this program called the Black Belt Club, even though he doesn't actually test for Black Belt for another month. In this "club," he gets to learn traditional Korean Sword forms and sparring, Extreme forms, HanMuDo, Ground Escape Skills, Tactical Short Stick, and Counter Defense Training. Some of those things are included in Black Belt competition, so it was great for him to get to see the higher ranks exhibiting those things that he has just started to learn.

My niece is a 2nd degree Black Belt, and she got a Bronze medal in her Traditional form competition and a Gold medal for her Free Design form. She did really well in sparring too, but she was up against this amazing young man from Las Cruces whom everyone calls Speedy, and he definitely earns his nickname! Our instructor was impressed that she was even able to score on him. Here is a picture of her with her medals:

Richard had a HUGE ring, with some pretty tough competition from all 3 schools that were included (Alamogordo {us!}, Las Cruces, and El Paso). He and a young lady from Las Cruces tied for the Gold medal in their Traditional forms, so they had to do a tie breaker. Richard earned the Gold, and she the Silver. Richard's good friend Cara got Bronze. In the Free Design forms, Richard earned Gold, which he was really proud of since this is a form that he made up and choreographed all on his own, to music that he picked. In sparring competition, Richard did awesome! He was in the first round, and just blew away most of his competition. When it came to the Gold medal round though, a young man from El Paso got in 3 real quick kicks to the head (worth 2 points each), and that was the end of it! Richard did score on him once, so that was great. The rounds go until one opponent earns 5 points, or until time is up, then the opponent with the most points wins. Punches and kicks to legal zones on the body are worth 1 point, and kicks to the head are worth 2 points. Jump kicks to the head are worth 3 points. In tournament sparring punches to the head are not allowed. If you are starting to panic, don't, they are well padded!

Richard sparring, he is the Red Belt executing a beautiful side kick. The adult Black Belts surrounding the sparring kids are judges. There are 3 on the mat while 2 kids are sparring, making sure that it all stays fair and safe.

Here he is doing part of his Traditional Form, he is chambering, getting ready to do a side kick (his favorite). In the foreground are his fellow competitors, and in the back ground sitting on the chairs are the Black Belt judges. There are usually between 4 and 6 in a ring, from all 3 schools.

This is Richard and his good friend Cara, with their medals. It is hard to see Richard's the way he is holding them, but he has 2 Gold and 1 Silver, and Cara has a Bronze. I don't think Richard could look any happier!

Richard and I have talked a lot about competition. I have told him that I would be proud of him if he came home with no medals, it takes a lot of courage to get out there and compete. And if he decided to back out of competition, I would still be proud of him. I hate to see the way some parents push their kids so much. Richard is in this because he loves it, and that is all that really matters.


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