Georgia from Banstead TaeKwon-Do ITF did something very brave...
Congratulations are in order for one of our students, Georgia (15) who showed great Indomitable Spirit during the final week of August 2021.
On Sunday August 22nd Georgia sat and passed her grading to get to Black Tags in ITF TaeKwon-Do which is the highest colour belt grading and just one exam away from her 1st Degree Blackbelt.
The rest of the following week was all about TaeKwon-Do while she attended the Master Dennis VIII TKD Summer Camp but then on Friday August 27th she travelled to Manchester to really test herself.
GB TaeKwon-Do is the Olympic arm of WT TaeKwon-Do and they have a recognised route through to their athlete development programme. This is called FIGHTING CHANCE:
‘Fighting Chance 13-18’ is the annual open recruitment process accessible to all Martial Arts backgrounds for athletes aged 13-18 to enter the GB Taekwondo Development Programme.
There are several phases to FIGHTING CHANCE with phase 1 being the application and phase 2 being selected and invited to engage in a test match which will be assessed by GB’s coaches and Performance Director. They will observe the athlete’s desire to fight, their resilience throughout the match (regardless of the score) and the presence of an ‘X-factor’.
Georgia asked for my support before applying for FIGHTING CHANCE. One of the best things for an instructor to see is student progress and their desire to be exposed to new things.
Applying was difficult for Georgia because we are ITF Style TaeKwon-Do and GB TKD is WT Style TaeKwon-D0. While both have Korean origins they are very different arts, and the fighting platforms are remarkably different. Difficult because all TaeKwon-Do literature teaches that a student should respect one ART and one INSTRUCTOR (this is why we wrap the belt around only once), and here she is as a teenager doing the right thing and asking her instructor if she can apply for something that not many ITF Style athletes do.
Georgia showed maturity and Courtesy during this process.
Of course, I was delighted to hear that one of my long term students wanted to test themselves in an extremely competitive arena.
Georgia travelled up late on Thursday 26th to Manchester with her family for support, after a full day of TaeKwon-Do ITF with Master Dennis. Her assessment was about 9:30 on the Friday morning, and judging by Georgia's report she conducted herself with true integrity to ITF by sparring and using her hands as defence and keeping her hands up in a protective guard. :)
However, interestingly enough she was told off for that by the scout observing her bout being told, "Keep your hands down!" - interesting advice for fighting sports athletes. However, we should understand WT TKD has very precise sparring rules and perhaps the hands up more useful being down by the athletes sides.
Ultimately, Georgia learned that she has some work to do to travel down the path of a GB TaeKwon-Do professional athlete and deployed her well exercised tenet of Self Control to hold her head high and exited the arena with Pride and Confidence knowing she had taken part in a test that invited the very best athletes from around the UK.
Georgia has returned to Banstead and the Adult & Teens classes at Banstead TKD with a renewed sense of athletic purpose and a strong desire to persevere and train hard to apply again for Fighting Chance 2022.
During her 12 years at Banstead TaeKwon-Do Georgia has learnt to punch, kick, block, strike and thrust with great power and accuracy, she has embodied her 8 ITF TaeKwon-Do patterns and owns all her TKD technical movements.
However, perhaps more importantly she has taken on board the true teachings of following the Tenets of TaeKwon-Do:
We wish Georgia all the best and success in all aspect of her life and hope she will sit her 1st Degree Blackbelt exam during 2022.
If you fancy a go at ITF TaeKwon-Do then check out my TASTER TKD sessions running through September, you can get involved here: https://www.bansteadtkd.co.uk/trial