Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hapkido Tournament ('Championshop')- Seoul

Hapkido Championshop

The day had arrived where we would get to watch Hapkido students and masters battle it out with weapons, (yes weapons) and sheer 'body kilo' as our Master says. Now, when you think weapons do you think of a cane/walking stick or perhaps a belt, unless you are Steven Siegal, probably not. Hapkido participants DO.

The Crew from our school and a few other teeny participants:

Looking for her name

The Master

One of our schools competitors

This school had 30+ students from ages 7+ with black belts at varying stages!

Another competitor from school- purdy boy!

The day included cleverly masterminded and perfectly timed Hapkido school shows and Hapkido competitions. There were various areas you could compete in such as self defence (throws & locks),including knife defence, nunchuck defence, cane defence and belt defence. Then there was kicks or special kicks and jumps. The groups were all divided by age.

Firstly the shows; Some seriously impressive stuff.
I felt a great sense of pride watching the shows (not to mention awe) that I was in a minor way, a part of a traditional Korean martial art, that was able to prevail against the Japanese occupancy of Korea , therefore making the art form a highly respected and guarded attribute to Korean culture.

If you fail to be blown away by these words the following awe-inducing pictures should do the trick...(even old Stevie might learn a thing or two):

This girl is my hero she was awesome!

So small for such violence

I break things with my fist-wood.

I told ya

My hero

Fan defence- worrying stuff

6 people all jumping over one another..

Kicking a circle of wood

I think this was over 11 students

Saumersault over 4/5 students

The Masters at work

Now for the apple kick

Belt Defence

Importantly, we had wanted to watch the tournament as our friend Tawny was competing in the Kicks and jumps category. Now, Tawny has been doing Hapkido for 15 months (I think),she got her black belt in June of this year after 11 months of private lessons with the 'Master' and was signed up for this competition uninformed by said 'Master' haha, love it, Oh Korea!

With the belief that Tawny would be competing against other women we spent the day eye-spying anyone who looked a similar age. We found one possibility, who definately looked like she was a master, but we were unable to find the 13 other people on the list with Tawny....All would soon be revealed....

Well, It turned out, Tawny was actually competing against 13 high school+  aged BOYS (aged 18 years +)!
Now, anyone doing hapkido in Korea that is Korean and aged 18, is likely to have been studying Hapkido maybe 10 years (give or take a year or two), so you can imagine these guys.

Tawny, however was an absolute machine out there, check it out:

We were all ever so proud, tears in the eye (just the one, seriously) proud. She performed every move excellently, even one she had never before seen and the only help was from myself and an animated finger sequence of the move! The crowd were amazing cheering Tawny on in true Korean spirit, high 5's, 'good jobs' and pats on the back all round.

Perhaps next year if the beau and I are ever black belts we shall be asked to do such things, although I think Master Sim was one tired guy after it all and completely unimpressed that he was made to change from leather jacket and skinnys to a suit for the occasion. We have one trendy Master!

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