Hi! My name is Gordon White, I run the Blue Wave Taekwondo branch in Burlington Vermont. If you are interested in The Blue Wave Taekwondo Schools, please visit our Web site: The Blue Wave Taekwondo Association

Monday, April 14, 2008

Officials Training and Match Games

Find more photos like this on The Blue Wave Taekwondo Association

From the first year I started to teach Taekwondo in Burlington Vermont, getting my students (and other Blue Wave Students) to tournaments has been a problem. We host one tournament a year, all the rest of our tournaments are several hours away, and typically a night in a hotel room. Most families are not interested in making this kind of commitment.

A few years ago, several Vermont Taekwondo schools joined the USSSA (U Triple S, A) A multi-sport organizations with over 5 million athletes combined. Similar to the AAU, they offer both Olympic Style Sparring and (continuous) point sparring. Initially the USSSA tournaments in this area were all point sparring, which meant if we attended these tournamets the divisions would be thin. However a couple of schools have now switched over to Olympic, and there is now some additional competition for us.

For our recreational students who want to try out competition, this is a great fit. For our more serious athletes, we continue to attend AAU events (including nationals) as well as USAT events when possible. Being involved with 3 different organizations is a hassle, but necessary given where we live, and various needs of the students.

This last Saturday we held an officials seminar with Master Steve Barrett of the USSSA, and followed it up with match games. This let the officials get some practice in, and the athletes get some matches with the electronic scoring.

There were about 20 participants in the officials seminar, and about 30 in the match games. The photos above were taken by one of my students fathers.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

2008 USA Olympic Taekwondo Team

After the final phase of the Olympic Trial process, the 2008 USA Olympic Taekwondo Team has been selected. Two men, and Two women comprise the team, and also an interesting point, 3 of the team members are siblings.

The Lopez family has been known in the Taekwondo world for several years now, especially after Diana, Mark, and two time Olympic Gold Medal Winner Steven; all won Gold in their respective divisions at the 2005 World Championships.

The final member of the team is Charlotte Craig, a Bronze medalist at last years World Championships.

The team trials were not with out controversy. Diana Lopez needed to beat second seed, Olympic Silver medalist Nia Abdallah. The fight was scoreless going into Overtime. Diana scored a round house kick with 29 seconds left to win the match.

The match was posted on YouTube for a few days before being pulled for copyright infringement. I watched the match (several times), it was from some distance away, (too far for audio) and unclear as to what kicks were kitting hard enough to score.

It did appear that both players had kicks that looked like points that did not go up on the board. Given the fact that 3 out of 4 corners were needed to confirm a point, missing points is not uncommon. Nia kicked more often, and was the aggressor, but I trust the 4 corners scoring the match. In addition I watched the other matches (Mark Lopez Vs. Chris Martinez and Charlotte Craig Vs. Anees Hasnain) and these matches were scored with similarly high expectations for what was considered a point.

Visit USA Taekwondo for more informtion. I have also provided links to each of the team members bios below.

Charlotte Craig
Diana Lopez
Mark Lopez
Steven Lopez