(Greely, CO) – Students from the Community College of Aurora Taekwondo program participated in their first ever tournament, which was hosted by UNC on November 2nd. The tournament was the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Taekwondo League fall championships.
The RMCTL has been going for several years, but this was the first time CCA was able to field a team. Three members of the Taekwondo Class (1 credit through the PE Department) went to take on schools such as CU Boulder, Metro State, UNC Greely, and CSU.
The tournament consists of two events, forms and sparring. In the forms event students perform pre-arranged patterns and are judged on technical accuracy, beauty, and power. Jayson Birmingham took silver in Men’s White/Yellow forms and Damien Brown took bronze.
The sparring competition consists of students trying to score points by striking the chest (Beginners Divisions) or head and chest (Jr. Varsity and Varsity Divisions). The CCA competitors gave exciting and close matches, all of which were decided by a single point.
Jayson Birmingham took home CCA’s first ever gold medal in the Men’s C Team Featherweight division, defeating CU Boulder in an exciting match. Birmingham was losing by one point but tied the match at the buzzer, and then was victorious in sudden death.
In the Men’s C Team Welterweight division Damien Brown had a back and forth match in the finals that also went into overtime. However, he came up short and had to settle for silver.
Satya Wimbish also took gold in Women’s C Team Featherweight. She stated: “I really love the opportunity to take Taekwondo for credit. It is really fun and my improved focus has definitely benefited me in my other classes.”
Professor Bill Pottle also teaches at Metro State University, and this proved to be a big advantage to CCA as students from MSU came and helped prepare the CCA students for the championships. One of these students, Miguel Garcia had this to add. “I feel that these students are humble, compassionate, and passionate about learning. Because of this, I’m not at all surprised that they did so well. They will only get better from here.”
Because of the nature of the league (Winning Varsity counts much more than winning Beginners, the more competitors you have the more points a school can get) CCA isn’t yet able to go toe to toe with some of the larger and more established programs. Still, this was an important first step and with good enrollment in the Spring 2014 semester and good retention from the fall, 3rd place in the league isn’t out of reach.