Friday , 15 December 2017

McKinney Martial Artists Make Their Mark At The Texas Invitational Taekwondo Championships

McKinney Martial Artists Make Their Mark At The Texas Invitational Taekwondo Championships

McKinney Martial Artists Make Their Mark At The Texas Invitational Taekwondo Championships

On March 5th, Martial Artists from The VTA(Vasquez Taekwondo Academy) in McKinney traveled down the road to PISD’s Robinson Middle School where they competed in the 22nd Annual Texas Invitational Taekwondo Championships, hosted by Sun Lee Texas Taekwondo Center.

Created 22 years ago by Grand Master Sun Lee as a “Friendship Games” where martial artists could test their skills and training in competition with each other, the Texas Invitational has become a common starting and reunion point for North Texas Masters and their students. The “Family Friendly” environment encourages students to put forth their best efforts in three separate competitions which utilize their training and experience in Taekwondo.

The first competition, Poomsae (Poom – say), is more commonly referred to as “Forms” in the West.  Competitors trace prearranged patterns using blocks, strikes and kicks to simulate defending against multiple attackers.  Poomsae is exacting and always offers the practitioner the opportunity to improve.  Poomsae also shows the ability of the young mind to absorb, learn and demonstrate.  Competitors as young as 7 routinely demonstrate Poomsae with more than 15 sections and 50 separate movements.  Master Julian Vasquez of the VTA(Vasquez Taekwondo Academy) routinely has multiple competitors under 12 years of age demonstrating very complicated patterns with power, strength and precision.  Poomsae is not “tacked on” at the VTA. Students learn Poomsae as part of the traditional Taekwondo Curriculum at VTA.  Students who wish to compete and show the discipline to work hard may then sign up for Sport Taekwondo where Poomsae is refined even more.  Check the link at the end of this article for some very fierce Poomsae demonstrated by some of the youngest competitors at the Texas Invitational.  Overall VTA athletes did very well.  Every student that entered Poomsae earned a spot on the Medal Stand.

Results for Poomsae: G = Gold, S = Silver, B = Bronze

Martial Artist   Age    Belt     Medal

Aiden                  7    Green       S

Caleb                  7    Green      G

Gavin                  8    Green      G

Justin                  9    Green      B

Ashley               10   Green      G

Cody                 10   Green       S

Dante’               10   Green       B

Tejas                 11   Red          G

Emily                 11   Green       S

Thomas            13    Blue         G

Molly                 13    Red         G

Jacob                14   Red          S

Taryn                 15   Red          G

Isaac                 15   Black        G

Giovanna          15   Green       G

Kim                    39   Blue          G   

Dina                  48   Black         G

Jeff                    48   Blue           G

VTA students also competed in Gyroogi (Guy-Roo-gee) or Sparring as it is more commonly called.  Students enrolled in the additional Sport Taekwondo classes learn strategy and ring management techniques as well as conditioning.  The VTA had athletes from 7 to 47+ competing at the Texas Invitational.  Many of them are preparing for the Texas State Taekwondo Championships coming up this weekend.  Finishing on the podium at Texas State earns an athlete a trip to San Jose for the Jr U.S. Nationals in June.  Having been in training since the beginning of the year the Texas Invitational gave Master Julian Vasquez Jr. and his charges an excellent opportunity to check their progress to date and make adjustments as necessary.  VTA athletes faired well at the Texas Invitational.  All VTA athletes choosing to compete in Gyroogi made the podium.

Results for Gyroogi: G = Gold, S = Silver, B = Bronze

Martial Artist   Age    Belt     Medal

Aiden                  7    Green       S

Caleb                  7    Green      G

Gavin                  8    Green      G

Justin                  9    Green      S

Ashley               10   Green      G

Cody                 10   Green       G

Dante’               10   Green       B

Tejas                 11   Red          G

Thomas            13    Blue         S

Molly                 13    Red         G

Jacob                14   Red          G

Isaac                 15   Black        G

Giovanna          15   Green       S

JC                      16    Red         S

Kim                    39   Blue         G   

Dina                  48   Black        G

Jeff                    48   Blue          G

 
The Texas Invitational served as a great opportunity for athletes to “get out of the gym” and compete against other Martial Artists which is always helpful.  Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your own gym mates is easy.  Competition in the ring requires the athletes to think quickly on their feet.  Caleb O., one of Master Vasquez’s 7 year olds has consistently scored many of his points in the last round of his matches as he is already learning to look first for what his opponents are doing and then adapt to it.

The competition also gave athletes a chance to measure themselves against their own goals and situations. In true Taekwondo athletes train to have an “indomitable spirit”.  This is not anger or rage but a deep-seated determination to keep facing one’s circumstances, whatever the situation. There is a saying, “Seven time down, eight times up.”   It means one keeps on trying.  Ashley P was, “Really glad I came! No matter what, I’ll be back!”.  She won gold medals in both forms and sparring, despite multiple recurring injuries and bruises to her leg/ankle that saw her limping through practice almost the entire 3 week period prior to the Texas Invitational.  Master Julian Vasquez would tell you that having the ability to stand up and face your life situations is one of the invaluable lessons learned in Taekwondo. 

The Martial Arts are about far more than blocking, kicking and striking. Think not? Stick around and see as we follow your McKinney Martial Artists throughout the year.  You’ll never know what you can overcome until you try

 

Cal Van Wagner

Covering McKinney Martial Artists for Town Square Buzz

“The only real failure is a refusal to try. Everything else is learning.”

My thanks to Grand Master Sun Lee and Master Jason Lee for assistance at the Texas Invitational Taekwondo Championships and invaluable interview time/emails spent explaining the history of The Championships.

My special thanks to Master Julian Vasquez Sr. for “assisting without knowing” in understanding the “true way” of Taekwondo. And also to Master Julian Vasquez Jr. for access to your athlete’s trials and successes.

Thank you also to Kim Dawson for providing video footage and Kim Van Wagner for taking pictures I’m not good enough with a camera to get.

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For complete pictures of the VTA at the Texas Invitational, including video excerpts from the feature Black Belt Match between Isaac Lopez-Cordell (VTA) and Adrian Garza (Pinaroc Taekwondo) please link to TSB Martial Arts here.    http://tsbmartialarts.shutterfly.com/

For more information on the Texas Invitational see the wrap up Article “22nd Annual Texas Invitational Taekwondo Championships a Success” also at TownSquarebuzz.net in the sports buzz section.

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