Well, it's finally here. The 2014 Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan National Championship is upon us. Sorry for the lack of updates leading up to this event but the focus lately has been on teaching and training to get everyone into the best possible position to do well in their competition.
Team Seven Star is bringing twelve competitors to the tournament this year. Our biggest assault on the National Championship since 2012 when we brought ten. That year we took home 13 first place trophies and 20 in total. This year we are looking to improve on that. Ultimately though, our main goal is to have a fun, safe tournament with our Tang Soo Do family. There's always some strong competition but we are ready and up to the challenge.
The team will be competing in Empty Hand Forms, Weapon Forms, Open Weapon Forms and Sparring. Here's a brief rundown of the Team Seven Star competitors.
Mr. McManus - 3rd Dan: The teams coach Mr McManus will be competing in the Tradition Forms and the new Open Weapon division. Mr. McManus has been steadily improving his fitness level and even though there's still a long way to go, he's happy with his progress. He will be looking to add to his 5 National Titles in Stamford this year.
Alysa- 2nd Gup: Alysa is already a 3-Time National Champion and a veteran Team Seven Star competitor. She will be competing in Forms, Weapons and Sparring.
Bianca - 2nd Gup: Bianca is also a veteran team member and competitor. She also has a National Title and numerous State Titles. She was chosen this year by Mr. McManus to enter the new Gup Open Weapon division. She'll also be competing in Forms and Sparring.
Shannon - 3rd Gup: Shannon was also picked to enter the new Gup Open Weapon division. While this is Shannon's first National Tournament it is far from her first competition. She proved earlier this year that she has the heart of a warrior after she took a hard fought 2nd place sparring against older boys after being the only girl in her sparring division.
Cayla - 3rd Gup: Cayla has been quietly improving herself over the past few months. She's always been very good but since earning her Red Belt she seems to have reached a whole new level. This will be Cayla's first National Tournament. She'll also be competing against her sister Alysa for the first time.
Sean - 4th Gup: With a few tournaments and medals under his belt now, Sean can no longer be called a new competitor. This however, will be his first Nationals. He'll be looking to add some National titles in all three divisions.
Aaron - 4th Gup: Aaron asks every class if we can spar. His reverse punch finds it's mark more often than not. He'll be looking to put it into good use this weekend in his first Nationals.
Ariana - 4th Gup: Aaron's sister Ariana is also a tough fighter. She's quiet but not easily intimidated which also comes in handy when she's demonstrating forms.
Zach - 5th Gup: Zach has steadily improved himself over this past few months. His technique is sharp and crisp. He's also made progress with his sparring this last week. He'll be looking to earn some medals this weekend.
Casey - 5th Gup: Zach's brother Casey has also shown a lot of improvement lately. His forms are looking good and even though he likes to talk a bit during sparring, I don't think he'll be doing that this weekend for his first Nationals.
Scott - 5th Gup: Scott is Zach and Casey's father. He put a lot of work into his empty hand and weapon forms and has shown a steady improvement each time he demonstrates them. He trains together with his kids everyday and they have grown a lot as martial artists.
April - 10th Gup: This will not only be April's first Nationals, it will be her first ever tournament. She only began training about 3 weeks ago but when she heard about the tournament she said she wanted to go. She worked hard on her form and will be competing in just the Empty Hand division since we only sparred a handful of times in class.