Earlier this year, three members from The Bandong Ryok Taekwondo club in Andover took part in a national Taekwondo tournament. Both sparring and patterns were the two events that people from all over the country were taking part in.
In Taekwondo, there are a total 24 patterns. Between white and black belt you will have learnt 8 of these patterns, and they are an indication of your progress in the martial art. This is another example of how much further you still have to progress even when you get to black belt.
Patterns were the first event in to compete in and, out of the three, they came away with both a gold and bronze award.
After a little rest and a stretch, the team put on their sparring gear – padding for the hands, feet, shins and head – and headed over to the assigned area, where they stood with everyone else in their category.
Sparring, unlike patterns, serves a completely different purpose. Where patterns are designed to perfect technique and help in giving suggestions for combinations, sparring takes everything you’ve learnt and puts it into a more real world perspective.
Looking beyond the face you’re wearing padding and protection, there are also rules set to protect each participant. The basic rules are: no blows below waist height, no kidney strikes and no ‘out of control’ strikes.
At the end of the competition Bandong Ryok walked away with 5 medals between the 3 of them.