Monday, April 27, 2009

National Taekwando Championships 2009

The 22nd Traditional Taekwon-Do Championship (Open) 2009

It's the time of the year again. National GTF Taekwando Championships.

As last year, the LMTC gave us the opportunity to be the team managers working with the LMTC instructor May Li to the championships, to be held in the Summit Plaza, Subang.
So on the 3rd of Aprill 2009, my dearest co-manager and I gathered at teacher's house in Tanjung Tokong. Both of us were excited. Last year was a nice and refreshing trip for us. The responsibility was huge, but the satisfaction was worth it. We arrived there around midnite. It was definitely refreshing to meet up with the team members and friends. They're all friendly and helpful.

1.30am the bus arrives. We put our stuff into the bus and board, all ready for the trip. A total of 31 of us. Quite a number of black belts this year.

I get a buddy as well to sit next too. She's great company I would say. Nice and relaxing to talk and chill with.

Both of us haven't had the chance to practice and grade up since have been busy with other stuff on the weekends. Sad.

We stop at Bukit Merah R&R. We use the word so often, R&R, but do we really know what it means? I think it's Rest and Recuperate. And look at the beauty of this acronym, in Malay, R&R also brings the same meaning! Yes, believe it or not. Rehat dan Rawat. Amazing.

Initially no one gets down. But the bus was really cold. And I mean really cold. So alot of people get down, and some go buy some hot drinks to dring along the ride.

I request the bus driver and co-driver to reduce the aircond. Now, how do I tell someone it's too cold. Should I say, can you lower the aircond? or Can you increase the aircond? Yes I could just say, can you increase the temperature of the aircond, but what if he thinks I'm saying increase the aircond. So finally what do I say? Pakcik, sejuklah! (Uncle, it's too cold here) Ha-ha.

He says ok "I'll make it less cold". He even shuts off the engine and aircond while waiting, so it doesn't get too cold. Allright. Now I'm going to enjoy the trip, and hopefully fall asleep. Usually I dooze off easily.

Now everyone's on the bus, and the pakcik starts off and drives, turns on the aircond. Guess what. Less cold seemed to be like just less by 0.5'C. Everyone's still shivering. I go to the uncle again and tell him it's still too cold. He says that he can't reduce the aircond (increase the temp) cause it'll make the engine stop. Now this I don't get. How can reducing the aircond do anything bad for the aircond? I'm confused to say the least. To be fair, I'm no mechanic and haven't driven a bus, but when I drive my car, I thought the cooler the temp, the more petrol it uses. In fact, if you turn OFF your air-cond, the pickup is better, i.e LESS strain on the engine? --->Anyone any idea??

Anyway, we reach Summit Hotel around 7.30am. The to the hotel and ask if we can check in early. Standard reply - sorry we're full and need to wait until people check out. Check-in time is 2pm...

So we head to the rest room to freshen up and then walk to Summit Plaza. This year the competition is held on the Ground Floor. Nice.

We're participating in a number of events from Individual Coloured Belts Pattern, Sparring to Black Belt Sparing and Patterns. (Coloured Belts just means which all belts except Black)...Now that I'm writing about Coloured belts. I guess it's scientifically true if I remember correctly. As Black is actually not a colour, but the absence of one. If when light shines on it, it absorbs all the light and does not reflect any color, so its black. Yellow belt color would reflect yellow color right?
Here's some of the pictures.
Warm up and practice before the tournament. We arrived early and had some time for practice.

Free Sparring

It's interesting to note this year, even for the coloured belts, no body protector was allowed. Only head gear, and the gloves for hands and legs. Last year, head gear, body protector and no gloves. This year looks more 'aggressive' to say the least. Yes, it's pretty hard to do chopping kicks when you're wearing a body protector.

Round 1. Actually there's only 1 round here. 1 minute.

Most people like to jump and move around. Does it really keep you alert or just tire you? Guess depends on your fitness.

One of our team members getting his medal. (Most right)

The younger participants category lacks no action. They're usually more eager and all out sometimes. What's important is to be vigil, well prepared and wear proper protection.

A very interesting fight. Both were strong competitors and made the match a good watch.

Returning kicks. You usually want to be careful not to slam shins with each other unless you've been practicing some moi-tai or wearing a shin-guard.

Some like to keep their foot raised, to reach quickly when the opponent nears.

Whoops, a kick to the back. Actually that's not allowed and could lead to penalty points.

Here's an incoming back-kick.

Here comes a slapping kick, ready or not. Remember in Taekwando it is always wise to keep your hands up. But sometimes that leaves your stomach vulnerable.

You see the kid in blue is launching a kick, but has left himself open.

Somehow the kicks seem predictable looking at this snap shots, but when you're in the ring, nothing is slow motion. A blink and you might have a whopping headed your way.

Incoming flight. Look carefully, both feet are in the air. Watch out, he's kick might just land on you.

As you can see, most have different starting stance as well. But basically one arm protects the ribs and the other the head.

Wow, that's a pretty high chopping kick.

Ouch, that might have hurt.

Here's the referee breaking them up, either due to a fault or time-over.

Here's the individual pattern. It is also interesting to see besides the free sparring. The art, breathing, chi, and also how perfect the kicks and punches are among the things to look out for.

Closest to the camera is our contestant. He has a real fine pattern mastery and superb kicks and form.

A well done Red Belt Pattern by our contigent member.

Another of our proponents in the individual pattern.

Here as well. Our team did take part in a number of the sparring and patterns. Below is the red belt pattern.

The beginning of the pattern among blue belts.

Want more, here's a video snippet of the pattern.

One for the team.

The official opening ceremony. Interestingly the 'opening' is done halfway through the tournament.

Saturday's event ends around 8.30pm. Some of the black belts are still waiting for their turns. We decide that the rest should go have dinner before the stalls / restaurants close. Most of the teenagers go along with their friends for dinner. We took some of the younger ones with us. Had dinner at some restaurant names Mandy's or something. Was on average.

We head back to the hotel. I'm ready to have a nice hot dip in the bath tub, to relax and relief all the sore muscles, especially my leg and back muscles. Nope, I didn't spare, but I was running around...And guess what, the bathroom was not vacant. One of the kids, or now was it 2 of them together, were enjoying themselves in the tub for some time. Even brushing their teeth in while soaking in the tub...:p

Anyway, I finally get to bath and my wasn't it relaxing and soothing. Yes a hot dip in hot tub really works for the aching muscles.

I request for some additional pillows and covers so we can spread them on the floor. I let the kids sleep on the bed and I bunker on the sheets. Finally the 3 kids are asleep. Suddenly a mobile phone rings. One of the other kid picks it up and says it the other kid's mother calling. I tell him to tell the Aunty that her son is asleep. But she still insists to talk to him. OK, might be an emergency I think. We shale and shake the kid till he wakes up, and talks to his mum. He hangs up and I ask him what happened? He says his mum wanted to ask him whether he's asleep or not yet..HAHAA.

Sunday - kids in my room wake up a little later as their events were done yesterday. Today is for the open category and black belts mainly. And guess what, yup, the kids are hogging the bath tub again. Ok, let's wait again.

Teacher sends the other kids to my room as well to take care of. Wow, I've got a handful of kids now running wild in the room.

After everone's ready we head to the ring to support our team members.

This friend got a walk over victory.

Here's a time-keeper which might look familar.

Sometimes we try our best to take photos of the action but it is hard. However this fluke here sure gives real feel of what's happening in the ring.

I'm hungry for lunch. So is my dear. I decide to try something interesting in one of the stalls. Crispy Double Cheese & Onion. Wow, it was really nice. Just the crispy part and with the fillings. My co-manager loved it as well! A must try. Same floor as McD in Summit, opposite it and Mr Teppanyaki.

It's now 1pm, and we need to check out. The hotel is calling. I talk to the hotel personel and request late check out for some of the rooms and check out the rest.

The bus is here. Those that are done with their events gather and head towards Sunway Pyramid. We reach Pyramid at around 2.45pm and walk around in our own groups, with each group having at least one responsible person.

4.45pm, we gather at Sunway Pyramid's exit and board the bus and head towards Summit to pick up teacher and the remaining team members.
5.20pm, we leave for Penang. Teacher suggest we stop at one of the R&R that sells fruits. I say, ok, Sg Perak it is, and request the bus driver to do so. This time we're more prepared. We have hot soup and hot tea.

Also Sungai Perak R&R is a great place to get fruits, including Buah Salak. Fresh Buah Salak. Yes, you can get alot of Jeruk Salak from Penang but not fresh ones.

And around 11pm we reach home safely. Thank you God for the safe trip and journey.

Anyway, if you want to know more about Taekwando, Learning Teakwando and contacting LMTC for classes, you can read about it by clicking here.



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