day 1291 – official rings

being slotted to judge the official blackbelt poomsae ring is what i wanted, but i wasn’t prepared to officiate the blackbelt sparring ring. needing to rotate as centre referee and corner judges in that ring is very nerve wrecking. judging and scoring for hours makes my eyes very tired and shoulders very stiff. it’s a surprise when the president of taekwondo bc came over to chat with me, knows me by my name and said he’s happy to field any questions i may have

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day 1058 – tumbletrak

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i haven’t posted one of flipping for a long time; that’s because i haven’t been flipping for a quite a while. on the tumble trak combining two moves together to make a combo for very the first time. finally feeling confident enough to try this and it was nerve wrecking, but the spotter was there so i don’t kill myself. with this attempt, i am one step closer to nailing the combo

a-game at us world open

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there was no shortage of pressure at us world open with the presence of the grandmaster, team of students and their parents. little was said, but this competition would also determine my path moving forward and going to nationals next month. i went into this competition feeling undertrained because of all my commitments with the sunrun, dodgeball, playoffs, demos and coaching duties; too much time spent coaching the kids i left no time for myself. it was a mixed bag of feelings from being emotionally unstable to psychologically drained cause i knew what was on the line, physically fine for the most part other than coping with a bad groin that won’t heal and battling a week-long cold. the pressure was far beyond anything i’ve ever experienced since all my school’s competitors had already finished their events, leaving me last to go on stage so everybody hovered behind my ring. i am not a fan of spotlight and this certainly a lot more attention than i am comfortable with. what made it even more nerve wrecking is i was queued second last in my division meaning i had to go through the pain of watching and waiting for my fellow competitors. i was so nervous i didn’t dare watch any of my competitors or their results. i zoned out everyone who tried to talk to me and only focused on what i had to do. i went out there and did what i had to do, walked off the mats straight to my coach without even looking at my score. i was greeted by high fives and a “pretty good” which meant the world to me cause rarely does he compliment me. everybody was quick to tell me i secured at least a silver medal based on the scores of those who went before me. i didn’t believe it, but came to realization as the final results were announced. it wasn’t the medal around my neck that brought joy to me, it was beating my biggest rival from my own school and that proved plenty, more than words can say. most importantly i felt good out there doing what i thought was my best poomsae and best performance yet. the silver lining was i later found out the mexican who topped my score was the bronze medallist at this year’s worlds. thankfully i was told after the fact or i would be too psyched out, as if i didn’t have enough pressure

day 298 – keumgang

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what used to be my weakest and least favourite poomsae has definitely taken big strides forward and huge leaps of improvement. fortunate to have professional photographer snap some shots while i was on one of the biggest and scariest stage of my life. so i can take a look at how i did and what i can improve upon next time. it would be a total lie if i said my nerves didn’t take over while i was on that stage and everything that happened in the ring was a blur. i hope to be back in this ring again in the near future