Traditional TaeKwon Do Alliance 2nd Annual Tournament
Northglenn- On Saturday September 7th, Northglenn High School home of the Norse, held the Annual Fall Tournament for the Traditional Taekwon Do Alliance, in loving and honoring memory of General Choi Hong Hi.
The energy was resilient and you could feel the passion in the gym of those competing no matter what their age group. The push and strive in the pee wee’s and juniors never seems to amaze the people, the indulgence was evident on their faces.
The event sponsored by The Elston Group and Big Frog Custom T-shirts and more; welcomed Taekwon Do schools from various parts of Colorado. Daily competitions included color belt sparring and patterns as well as Black belt sparring and patterns. Pee wee’s, juniors and adults all joined in the gym for one of the seasons beginning competitions.
The gym was filled with passionate traditional Taekwon Do student practicing forms and sparring techniques. Sweat dripped down the faces of those that won and those that lostthat competed no matter the outcome of the tournament held their heads tall and competed for the mere enjoyment of participating in such an honoring event.
Mike Wyatt, Student at the Pam Wa Nabi Do School of traditional Taekwon Do competed as a blue belt in sparring on Saturday. Although Wyatt lost in the first round he smiled, maintained amazing technique and fought strong. Wyatt went onto spar in the 2nd rounds in attempt to win 3rd place.
Master Saboonim Kevin Fitch of the Pam Wa Nabi Do School of traditional Taekwon Do, sat on the side of the match encouraging Wyatt’s techniques and cheering him through till the end. The love Master Saboonim held for his students was recognizable. Win or lose, his students all received big bear hugs following their matches.
Although Wyatt did not win in the 2nd round of adult sparring event he talked about how he was focused on his technique and working on speed as well as control. He had fun and learned from the event which was most important.
Wyatt joked that he was sparring with too much power for this particular event, “my tap can be too strong,” he said. Wyatt’s kicks and techniques looked outstanding and it was present that the Pam Wa Nabi Do School of traditional Taekwon Do has been training hard. Wyatt said, “We used to train at Westwood College Westminster, at the moment we don’t really have a place to train, were just practicing here and there. We are currently trying to find a school.”
The talent and passion the Pam Wa Nabi Do School of traditional Taekwon Do withholds was inspiring. No place to train, and still showing up to the tournament looking stronger and more zealous and determined than ever. Without a doubt they deserve a tangible place to practice and call their home, their Do Jang.
General Choi Hong Hi was born in 1918, in one of the roughest areas of North Korea. Although Hong Hi became well known in the world of traditional Taekwon Do in his adult years, he was not as disciplined and wise growing up as he later became to be. He lived a tough childhood repetitively in and out of trouble, eventually forcing his parents to ship him off to school.
As Hong Hi grew older and WWII ascended, he was forced to join the Japanese Army and was shipped back to North Korea to fight in WWII. In the midst of WWII Hong Hi was accused of being the head developer of the Korean Independence Movement, also known as the Pyongyang Student Soldiers Movement. He was confined to prison for eight months while undergoing a pre-trial investigation. Hong Hi made the most of his time in prison and focused on the art and pleasure of solitude. This opened the doors to his adoring passion for traditional Taekwon Do.
Following his release from prison, Hong Hi received the opportunity in 1947, to teach Korean and American soldiers in North Korea the art of Taekwon Do. It was the first time in history that Americans were introduced to the martial art form of traditional Taekwon Do.