Well, Saturday has come and gone. I awoke early Saturday morning (4am), got myself ready, finalized everything I needed to pack for the day, then woke up my two eldest kiddos to begin the day at around 4:45am. I didn’t have much trouble, they were both very excited. Excited for what? The 2014 BC Taekwondo Championship! My eldest had attended the previous year (and several other tournaments since), but this was the first time for my daughter. My son would be sparring and doing his poomse, my daughter (who is a little more reserved), decided to come along to do her poomse.
So, at 5:45′ish (after a brief stop at Timmies), we arrived to wait in line for the 6:30am ferry. Naturally, given that this is the 6:30am ferry, there wasn’t much of a line. I am always a little sketchy with the ferry (it has let me down many times in the past), so I like to get there early. At roughly 6:15, we boarded and were en route to Vancouver for the day. We had a good time on the ferry, the kiddos love the arcade and there was plenty to keep us busy on board. Was somewhat busy as there were quite a few kiddos coming over for some sort of Hockey thing and a cheerleading thing as well as the tournament. We ran into friends and fellow competitors and had a good time hanging out.
We arrived on time and easily made our way through the 20 minute drive to Capilano university. We met up with our friends and quickly reserved some good seats high up in the stands. The kiddos changed into their doboks and were off to warm up / practice their poomses. Both kiddos were looking good, but they practiced anyway and soon enough the beginning ceremonies were off. The speeches went off as they usually do, with the acoustics of the place making what the speakers were saying nearly unintelligible. Still, I was able to get the gist of what was being said, with the sounds of BC doing quite well in the sport. Great!
Next up was the skills presentation by the competition team. Was very impressive. At least 15 minutes long with huge amounts of choreography, poomses, kicking and board breaking. Was really quite good and entertaining. Even though the kids were all the way down on the mats away from me, I could still see that they were glued.
Once that was done, the long wait until the kid’s time to compete began. Sometimes we get lucky and go relatively quickly, sometimes (like this time), it takes an eternity. Both my son and daughter had to wait over an hour for their turn at least. Both did quite well. Given that it was my daughter’s first time in front of a heavy crowd, I was pretty nervous for her. Turns out she did really well. Got up there, followed the rules, pulled off her poomse without an issue. Managed scores of low 7′s. In most young groupings, this would have been enough to win. However, this grouping included two older blue stripes (against my young yellow belt daughter) and they edged her by about .5 which put my daughter in third place. I am super proud of her, she did amazing.
My son pulled off a strong poomse as well, so I was a little surprised when he score only high 6′s. However, it was enough to beat out the other 4 competitors in his group and he finished poomse with a gold.
Next up was lunch as sparring wasn’t starting until 1:00 or so. After feasting (and tons of congratulations to the kiddos), my son was off to get warmed up for sparring. We NEVER got lucky with sparring and almost always end up going last at tournaments. So it was a surprise when my son was up for the third or fourth round. He got placed against a blue belt (my son being a blue stripe). It was a good battle, Haiden fought technically well, not taking any big chances and soundly finished the fight 5-3.
This particular division didn’t have enough competitors, so my son’s next competitor was fresh, having been given a by to the final round. This young fellow was a brown belt (around a red belt equivalent) which is much higher than my son’s belt level. My son looked calm however and, after shaking hands, both boys flew at each other. It was a very good, rather close match. I think my son had him slightly beat in terms of speed / strength, however the other boy was no slouch and had more training / skills to match. This match did not go so well, and the point scoring was rather off. The other boy quickly started receiving points for non-jarring hits and grazing kicks and it quickly went to 5-4. Then, knowing something was wrong already, my son landed a huge counter punch on the other boy, nearly knocking him over. They didn’t score it. That was more than my son’s coach was willing to accept, so he called that there was an issue with the fight.
The refs refused to acknowledge any issues and the second round began. Sadly, the second round was worse than the first. My son came out slamming and easily score a quick 5 points, of which they counted 1. Countering back, the other boy landed a lazy shot or two at which point the score started shooting up by 2′s for no particular reason. The fellow next to me was completely confused, noting the “phantom points” being score. No doubt! The score ended up 11-6 or something like that, leaving everyone who watched rather confused.
Oh well, my son gave it his all and fought a beautiful, hard fight. He wouldn’t take home the gold, but he knows he did his best (and had a lot of fun), so all is well and good. I couldn’t be prouder of my two little competitors for the day.
At this point, it looked like it may be possible to hit the 3:00 ferry, so we raced out of the arena and drove like crazy to the dock. We made it with minutes to spare and were home just in time for supper.
Overall a fun, but tiring, day. Tournaments are a costly, time consuming, stressful endeavor. However, I believe that the kids really enjoy them and it teaches them so much. It is quite an experience for them. Looking forward now to the Parksville based Island Tournament. Nothing like sparring on home ground ;).