The Atlantis Taekwondo club brought home 57 medals in the Smithers’ tournament that took place on March 9.
With 85 competitors from across the north at the event, Terrace made up the majority with 32 members.
“We usually bring a big crowd and everybody really stepped up their game,” says Cody Skog, owner and instructor at Atlantis Taekwondo. “It was a really nice atmosphere and it was for a good cause.”
The Kicking Cancer’s Butt tournament, hosted by Harmony Taekwondo, doubled as a fundraiser to help raise money and awareness for a local family in Prince George fighting cancer.
There were five double-gold winners that took the top score for both sparing and patterns, which Skog says he was very impressed with.
“Patterns is a set amount of moves, it’s very technical. Each belt level has a pattern you have to master to go to the next belt level, plus kicks. It’s a variety of punches and kicks in a sequence and certain heights and movements,” says Skog. “Sparring is more spontaneous between the two people, where they get points for scoring.”
Skog, who also won a gold in the Sr. Male Blackbelt Division Patterns, says it’s rewarding to be recognized, and he’s happy with their club’s high medal count, but he emphasizes that it’s not all about winning.
For him, he wants his students to learn how to apply their training in real life and learn how to improve from their losses.
“[Taekwondo] is as close as you can get to a real situation, sometimes it puts a bit of pressure on you and your nerves,” he says. “With time, you learn how to calm yourself and feel more relaxed with the contact and movement. If you could transfer that to the practical aspect of self-defense, that’s a good trait.”
He adds that it’s also important for him to make sure that everyone feels like they’re part of the “Taekwondo family” and that these tournaments are a great way to make those connections happen.
“I’m proud of them, I love watching the kids get older and get better.”
But the pressure isn’t over yet.
Next month, the provincials will be hosted in Terrace by Atlantis Taekwondo. Skog says that they’re really hoping to make a good impression as it will be their first time as hosts.
“We have to make sure they enjoy themselves so that they want to come back,” he says. “We’re a small town far away from the main centres, we have to push the promotion.”
He says that they expect approximately 150 competitors and that the event will be open to the public, where people can watch the matches while enjoying food, music and a dance event after.
The 2019 International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) Championships will be held at the Sportsplex on April 13, with $5 entry.
- Rory Redmond, 9
- Jesse George, 11
- Corbin Specialny, 12
- Daisy Skog, 11
- Thayna Healey, 11