Taekwondo team strikes into competition

A taekwondo team of 25 from Terrace are heading to Prince George to compete in the BC Cup on June 11.

A team of 25 athletes from Terrace Atlantis Taekwondo are catching the train to Prince George next week to compete in the BC Cup tournament there on June 11.

A taekwondo team of 25 from Terrace are heading to Prince George to compete in the BC Cup on June 11.

The team rides the train to Prince George and stays in a hotel together on Friday before they compete on Saturday against 250 taekwondo athletes from across B.C.

Competing helps encourage the group to do even more training, said coach Cody Skog on why they organized the trip.

“We need the tournaments to have goals, to test your skills. And it gives incentive to train harder,” he said.

The team is from the Terrace Atlantis Taekwondo Club, which has 100-120 students ranging from a six-year-old whitebelt to a 62-year-old blackbelt.

Running programs in Terrace for close to 15 years, the club trains students in striking, sparring and self-defence.

“Taekwondo literally means the hand-foot art. It’s a lot of striking, stand up footwork. A little more kicking then hand fighting,” said Skog.

He says that respect for opponents and others is built into the structure of the sport of taekwondo, and that is one thing he likes about it.

“I like the structure of it: Everybody is in traditional uniform, lines up, and there is bowing and signs of respect,” he said. “It is always a positive interaction, even when you are fighting somebody. You bow after and shake hands. It’s very respectful of each other.”

Atlantis Taekwondo is also organizing its annual blackbelt competition in Terrace during Riverboat Days. It will be July 29 at the Terrace arena and includes the best balackbelts in Canada, Skog says.