On March 9th, Cochrane's Trinity Taekwon-Do held a local tournament in Bearspaw offering students a spin on an in-house competition.
Cameron Macdonald, Founder/Instructor of Trinity Taekwon-Do shares while many martial arts studios' offer an in house competition during their training season, he likes to mix things up. "About ten years ago, I started doing our in-house tournament with my friend who runs Horizon Taekwon-Do in Airdrie. We thought rather than just doing one with our own students let's do one altogether so that it is a little bit bigger and they can compete against students they don't see every week in class. So we call it an inter-club competition, and it is a lot of fun. It's an annual event that primarily gives people a chance to try competition out but is also an opportunity for avid competitors to get another competition in."
Besides the Airdrie studio, Macdonald also extends an invite to Crossfield's Rising Sun Taekwon-Do Studios. With all studio owners sharing a similar training philosophy, Macdonald loves the experience the inter-club tournament provides. "We keep it small, close to home, low cost, and low stress. It's a real sportsmanship based event which allows us just to have a very good learning experience, and not just for students, but also parents because a lot of parents don't know what to expect when their child competes for the first time."
Macdonald shares not only was the in-house tournament a huge success; it was also the largest they have hosted with 128 students participating. "It was really good. It's a full-scale tournament for everyone from little kickers (age 4) up to adult, white belt to black belt, and they can compete in four different events patterns, sparring, specialty board breaking, and power board breaking."
While medals are awarded during the tournament, it is not a focus. "Hopefully we do this event for many years to come. There is room to grow it, and even though we want to keep it small, there is always room for a few more making it a more competitive and less familiar atmosphere. It's not about whether you win or not, it really does help you test what you're learning and how well you do know it."
Out of the 128 students that attended the inter-club tournament, 52 students attended from both Cochrane and Water Valley.
Next up for Trinity Taekwon-Do is the Western Canadian Championships being held on the May 17/18 weekend in Saskatoon. "It's a little farther to go, but I do have some avid competitors right now, so I am guessing we will still see a few attend. Hopefully, they will do well; and if anything this last competition may have given people the thrill to do it again, improve themselves, and do better."
Acknowledging that not all students attending Trinity Taekwon-Do are in it to win it; Macdonald shares putting yourself out there to compete can be very valuable. "Not everybody trains in taekwondo for competition. I have a lot of students in it for fitness, self-defense or just simply building confidence, but I do think it's an important aspect because it pushes you out of your comfort zone. I don't push it, and I don't make everyone compete, but I do think there's value in it. Taekwondo for many is a sport that is about lifelong learning and development."
If you would like to try a class out Trinity Taekwon-Do, you can contact Macdonald through their website by going HERE.