(Colorado Springs, CO) – Over 1,100 participants descended on Colorado Springs for the 11th annual US Open Taekwondo Hanmadang July 25-27th. Participants ranged in ages from 4 to 83 and came from dozens of states and countries. A Hanmadang is a ‘martial arts festival’ and there are many different events, like forms, breaking, family forms, demonstrations, etc. There are no sport combat (sparring or grappling) events. The event also served as the Taekwondo portion of the 2019 Rocky Mountain State Games. This means that all first place winners also qualified to participate in the 2019 State Games of America.
Thursday started off with archery and knife throwing events in the Cheyenne Mountain Archery Range. The highlight was definitely the Dynamic Archery event, a 30+ minute race through the mountains where participants had to hit 18 different targets with only reusing one arrow. Thursday also featured numerous seminars as well as committee meetings.
Friday featured the most difficult division, the Championship Demo Team competition. White Tiger Martial Arts from Mill Creek, WA took home the top honors, and a coveted spot to perform at the opening ceremonies with the world famous Keimyung University Taekwondo Demo Team.
Saturday featured many more events, such as recreational demo team, knife hand breaking, spin hook kick breaking, family forms, individual breaking, etc.
There was also many special guests, including members of the Korean Parliament and former US Ambassador Chris Hill. One of the guests, Grandmaster Dong Sup Lee, is a 9th Dan who sponsored the bill to make Taekwondo the official national sport of Korea.
In the future, the tournament will alternate every other year with a combined USTC trip to Korea. You can see many more videos and pictures on the official Facebook page or you can view the complete results online.