Line up for the Dan (Black Belt) competition was at 9am. After the weapon competition it was time for Mr. McManus to compete with Kong San Kun in the Adult 1st-3rd Dan Traditional Form division. The scores were close and there was some excellent competition but Mr. McManus took the Gold Medal in the end. This put him in the running for Grand Champion (against the other Gold Meal winners) but he was just edged out slightly for the win. Not a bad start for Team Seven Star at the first tournament of the year.
Once Dan competition was finished, the Gup (under Black Belt) competition was ready to begin. It was time to put all the training the team did over the past month into practice. It was a difficult day for some of our competitors. Not everyone received a medal but they all gave 110% and that is what really matters. Here's a full rundown of Team Seven Star's day...
Alysa: Alysa had a tough day in both forms and sparring. She didn't place but is currently working hard for the State Championship in May.
Bianca: Bee took the Gold in her forms division with Bassai but ran into some difficulty in the sparring event and ended up with the Bronze.
Shannon: Shannon won a Gold Medal in forms with Chil Sung Il Rho and a the hardest earned Silver Medal that we've ever seen in a sparring division against all older boys. It definitely wasn't easy but she didn't give up when many would've understood if she had.
Cayla: Cayla brought home a Silver Medal in her forms division with Chil Sung Il Rho after a week of hard, focused practice.
Sean: Like Alysa, Sean also had a difficult day down in Greenwich. He is also working hard for May.
Aaron: Aaron's performance of Pyung Ahn Sa Dan earned him a Silver Medal and he did one better in Sparring by taking the Gold.
Ariana: Aaron's sister Ariana also took the Gold in her Sparring Division with some very impressive fighting.
J'Nae: J'Nae has been a fireball of energy since she returned to training. Unfortunately she didn't place on Saturday. She's already said she knows what she has to work on.
Jaden: Jaden takes training seriously. He's hungry to compete and his performance on tournament day really showed it with 2 Gold Medals for Forms and Sparring.
Zach: If we had an award for "Most Improved Form" in the weeks leading up to the tournament Zach would have definitely got it. He took the Gold Medal in his Forms Division with a rock solid performance of Pyung Ahn Sahm Dan. He also finished off his day with a Bronze in Sparring.
Casey: Nerves looked to have gotten the better of Casey as he looked strong during training but ended up not placing on tournament day.
Scott: Scott (father to Zach and Casey) also had a difficult day. The fact that he didn't place in his divisions doesn't mean that hard work wasn't there in the weeks before.
Competition is good for a dojang (school). It really gives the students something to train for besides rank. Not only that but it helps bring the students together since they all have a common goal to work towards. It helps to strengthen the bonds formed during training and, especially in a school like Seven Star Martial Arts, helps to bring our family of Martial Artists closer together. Competitions also allow our students to meet, work with and compete against students, instructors and Masters from other schools in the area (or for bigger tournaments the country or the world) that we otherwise wouldn't get to see or interact with. This all serves to make each one of our students not only good martial artists but also good human beings.
It's now time to turn our training and focus on the State Championships in May as well as the National Championships in July. Two more great opportunities to compete with the best and make new friends in the process.
See you all soon!! TANG SOO!!
- Pictures coming soon... : )