Kootenay Tae Kwon Do fighters
prepare for tournament in England
Herald Staff photo
Pass Herald Reporter
The Kootenay Tae Kwon Do was invited to attended the Tae Kwon Do world cup, hosted by International Taekwon-Do Federation, (ITF) this autumn in Brighton, England.
The four day tournament is set to occur in the first week of October, and will see hundreds of trained Tae Kwon Do competitors of all ages, from all over the world.
Kootenay Tae Kwon Do members are from the Crowsnest Pass, Cranbrook, Sparwood, and Elkford and is led by Master Sant Sara, who is currently seventh degree in Tae Kwon Do. There are eight degrees total.
Kootenay Tae Kwon Do have been anticipating the world cup for many months, and have been practicing hard, both as a team and individually.
“Everyone who is going is pumped and ready,” said Gena Paton, who has been an instructor for Kootenay Tae Kwon Do for 20 years to date and is currently fourth degree.
Choosing who from the team would compete in the cup was a difficult decision Paton explained.
“You need what it takes to do a large tournament like this, and that it takes a lot,” explains Paton.
“Once we decided who would be the best qualifiers to go, we began to train them.”
From Kootenay, 12 competitors will be attending the cup.
“Of course we hope we will do well. We are going to try out best, and hope for the best,” said Paton.
In some categories of the cup, there will be up to 200 people.
But that should not be too intimidating for Kootenay Tae Kwon Do, as the club already has had four prior world champions.
“It all depends on who you meet in the ring,” said Paton. “You have to be prepared to meet anyone.”
Club members of all ages are going to compete. The youngest competitor from the team is 12, and the oldest is 47. The other ten competitors are aged everywhere in between. This is the first time the competitors have been to an overseas tournament.
Paton explained that all the travel arrangements have been made, and preparation is almost complete. “Now all we can do is hope that we win,” she said.
But that does not mean they have not competed. The club has traveled and competed in Quebec City this year, Prince George and Kamloops.
“We travel every year,” said Paton. “It helps us prepare and gain experience.”
Paton explained that there is a mini tournament in Sparwood. The annual event is usually held in Sparwood in early spring, and showcases about 300 students,
Special recognition should be given to Master Sant Sara, who has been involved with the Kootenay Tae Kwon Do for around 30 years.