Monday, August 25, 2008

What Sportsmanship Doesn't Look Like...

Note to Self: If I lose the Bronze medal match, remember not to kick the referee in the face.

I have to say it is disappointing when a competitor in your martial art displays so little respect for it.

There really isn't any consolation here, but in wrestling and in boxing, there were also some terrible displays of sportsmanship (refusing a Bronze medal and biting...) from other countries, so I think it is safe to say that this is about the person, not the sport...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Korea Leads TKD Medal Count with 3 Golds; US Second

This year appears to be another good year for Korea - they have a chance for four Golds tomorrow, when they will compete in the Men's Heavyweight competition. The US has fielded its four fighters, so it has taken all the medals it will.

China will also field a fighter tomorrow, so it may overtake the US in the TKD medal count...

Medals for my Whole Family: Steven Lopez takes Welterweight Bronze

In one point decision over Azerbijiani fighter Rashad Ahmadov, Steven Lopez takes the welterweight bronze. Strangely enough, Chinese fighter Guo Zhu also won the bronze... The Gold was won by Iranian fighter Hadi Saei, and the Silver went to Italian Mauro Sarmiento.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lopez Takes Silver - Son (Korea) Wins Gold

It was an exciting match, decided in the last seconds of the third round, but Mark Lopez of the US fell to Korea's Son, 2-3. Another medal for the Lopez siblings - with Steven Lopez up tomorrow. He'll be the last competitor for Team USA.

Diana Lopez takes Bronze, Mark Lopez in Gold Final

The Turkish and Korean competitors are vying for the Gold in the finals...and the Korean, Lim, wins! One point game.

Son (Korea) and Lopez (USA) to Face Off in Lightweight Final

In a contest decided in the last few seconds, Son wins over Sung from Taipei. Sung will compete in repechage for the Bronze, and Son and Lopez will compete for Gold and Silver.

Diana Lopez Falls In Quarterfinals; Mark Lopez Continues

US Lightweight Women's contender Diana Lopez falls in the quarterfinals to the Turkish competitor (but still has a chance for Bronze); Mark Lopez moves to finals in a solid win over Lopez from Peru.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ninjitsu Teaser - Working Martial Artists group member

I'm finding that most of the people who are in the Working Martial Artists group (www.linkedin.com) on LinkedIn are multi-disciplinary - they've at least dabbled with a few martial arts. So we have a lot of diversity in the group.

In an email with one of the members last night, I found out just how much diversity. One of us is studying for a black belt in Bujinkan Taijutsu (Ninjustu).

I ended up on YouTube, just as I did after my conversation about Poison Hands with another member (see prior post). You can see the appeal from the video - looks very well rounded.

Wu Wins in Flyweight Women's/Perez from Mexico Wins Flyweight Men's

Close victories in both women's and men's matches, with Wu, the women's flyweight favorite, winning gold.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Olympic Scoring

One thing I will never get used to - someone getting kicked in the head, and the person doing the kicking not getting 2 points. Canadian fin weight Gonda kicked Zajc from Sweden in the head twice. No points. Lost by two.

Ouch.

Charlotte Craig Advances

A 4-0 win over Swiss fighter Bezzola gives Charlotte Craig (49kg group - fin weight) her first win on the path to gold.

Other fighters advancing: Chinese fighter Wu looked good in her win as well. Yang from Taipei looked OK. The Swedish, Iranian and Venezuelan fighters looked less convincing.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

NBC Olymic Tae Kwon Do Coverage...

Sometimes, when I use the Yahoo and NBC Olympic sites, I feel a bit like an adventurer, searching for hidden treasures.

Anyway, I finally found the Tae Kwon Do schedule - and you can probably watch a good bit of this on NBC's site live. A couple pointers for you:
- Go to the site and try watching something live ahead of time. NBC uses Microsoft's Silverlight, and that may require a download.
- NBC also controls who can watch - so you have to enter zip code and cable provider to watch.
If you make 3 mistakes, they lock you out, as they did me.

Day 13 Wednesday, August 20
Date / TimeEvent
Results

08/20 9:00amWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 9:15amWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 9:30amWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 9:45amWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 10:00amWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 10:15amWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 10:30amWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 10:45amWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 11:00amMen 58kg (128 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 11:15amMen 58kg (128 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 11:30amMen 58kg (128 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 11:45amMen 58kg (128 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 12:00pmMen 58kg (128 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 12:15pmMen 58kg (128 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 12:30pmMen 58kg (128 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 12:45pmMen 58kg (128 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/20 3:00pmWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/20 3:15pmWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/20 3:30pmWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/20 3:45pmWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/20 4:00pmMen 58kg (128 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/20 4:15pmMen 58kg (128 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/20 4:30pmMen 58kg (128 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/20 4:45pmMen 58kg (128 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/20 5:00pmWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Semifinals
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08/20 5:15pmWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Semifinals
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08/20 5:30pmMen 58kg (128 lbs) Semifinals
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08/20 5:45pmMen 58kg (128 lbs) Semifinals
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08/20 6:00pmWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Repechage
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08/20 6:15pmWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Repechage
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08/20 6:30pmMen 58kg (128 lbs) Repechage
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08/20 6:45pmMen 58kg (128 lbs) Repechage
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08/20 7:00pmWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/20 7:15pmWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/20 7:30pmMen 58kg (128 lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/20 7:45pmMen 58kg (128 lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/20 8:00pmWomen 49kg (108 lbs) Gold Medal Contest
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08/20 8:15pmMen 58kg (128 lbs) Gold Medal Contest
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Day 13 Thursday, August 21
Date / TimeEvent
Results
08/21 9:00amWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 9:15amWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 9:30amWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 9:45amWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 10:00amWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 10:15amWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 10:30amWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 10:45amWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 11:00amMen 68kg (150 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 11:15amMen 68kg (150 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 11:30amMen 68kg (150 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 11:45amMen 68kg (150 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 12:00pmMen 68kg (150 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 12:15pmMen 68kg (150 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 12:30pmMen 68kg (150 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 12:45pmMen 68kg (150 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/21 3:00pmWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/21 3:15pmWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/21 3:30pmWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/21 3:45pmWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/21 4:00pmMen 68kg (150 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/21 4:15pmMen 68kg (150 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/21 4:30pmMen 68kg (150 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/21 4:45pmMen 68kg (150 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/21 5:00pmWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Semifinals
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08/21 5:15pmWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Semifinals
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08/21 5:30pmMen 68kg (150 lbs) Semifinals
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08/21 5:45pmMen 68kg (150 lbs) Semifinals
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08/21 6:00pmWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Repechage
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08/21 6:15pmWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Repechage
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08/21 6:30pmMen 68kg (150 lbs) Repechage
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08/21 6:45pmMen 68kg (150 lbs) Repechage
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08/21 7:00pmWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/21 7:15pmWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/21 7:30pmMen 68kg (150 lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/21 7:45pmMen 68kg (150 lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/21 8:00pmWomen 57kg (126 lbs) Gold Medal Contest
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08/21 8:15pmMen 68kg (150 lbs) Gold Medal Contest
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Day 14 Friday, August 22
Date / TimeEvent
Results
08/22 9:00amWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 9:15amWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 9:30amWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 9:45amWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 10:00amWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 10:15amWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 10:30amWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 10:45amWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 11:00amMen 80kg (176 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 11:15amMen 80kg (176 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 11:30amMen 80kg (176 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 11:45amMen 80kg (176 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 12:00pmMen 80kg (176 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 12:15pmMen 80kg (176 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 12:30pmMen 80kg (176 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 12:45pmMen 80kg (176 lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/22 3:00pmWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/22 3:15pmWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/22 3:30pmWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/22 3:45pmWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/22 4:00pmMen 80kg (176 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/22 4:15pmMen 80kg (176 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/22 4:30pmMen 80kg (176 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/22 4:45pmMen 80kg (176 lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/22 5:00pmWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Semifinals
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08/22 5:15pmWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Semifinals
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08/22 5:30pmMen 80kg (176 lbs) Semifinals
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08/22 5:45pmMen 80kg (176 lbs) Semifinals
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08/22 6:00pmWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Repechage
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08/22 6:15pmWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Repechage
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08/22 6:30pmMen 80kg (176 lbs) Repechage
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08/22 6:45pmMen 80kg (176 lbs) Repechage
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08/22 7:00pmWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/22 7:15pmWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/22 7:30pmMen 80kg (176 lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/22 7:45pmMen 80kg (176 lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/22 8:00pmWomen 67kg (148 lbs) Gold Medal Contest
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08/22 8:15pmMen 80kg (176 lbs) Gold Medal Contest
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Day 15 Saturday, August 23
Date / TimeEvent
Results
08/23 9:00amWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 9:00amWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 32
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08/23 9:15amWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 9:30amWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 9:45amWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 10:00amWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 10:15amWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 10:30amWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 10:45amWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 11:15amMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 11:30amMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 11:45amMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 12:00pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 12:15pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 12:30pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 12:45pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 1:00pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Preliminary Round of 16
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08/23 3:00pmWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/23 3:15pmWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/23 3:30pmWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/23 3:45pmWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/23 4:00pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/23 4:15pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/23 4:30pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/23 4:45pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Quarterfinals
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08/23 5:00pmWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Semifinals
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08/23 5:15pmWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Semifinals
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08/23 5:30pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Semifinals
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08/23 5:45pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Semifinals
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08/23 6:00pmWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Repechage
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08/23 6:15pmWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Repechage
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08/23 6:30pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Repechage
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08/23 6:45pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Repechage
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08/23 7:00pmWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/23 7:15pmWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/23 7:30pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/23 7:45pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Bronze Medal
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08/23 8:00pmWomen 67+kg (148+ lbs) Gold Medal Contest
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08/23 8:15pmMen 80+kg (176+ lbs) Gold Medal Contest
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Friday, August 8, 2008

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Poison Hands?

A WMA (Working Martial Artists LinkedIn group) member recently told me about a technique he has been practicing from Kung Fu called "Poison Hands."

So I looked it up, and found this video. Although this system seems proprietary, I'm guessing it is representative of the techniques. The similarity of some moves to Aikido is striking!

Working Martial Artists - LinkedIn Group

Maybe you run a martial arts studio, maybe you're just starting out in a martial art, and maybe you're an experienced practitioner.

If you're any of these three, you might be interested in joining our LinkedIn group - Working Martial Artists. There are folks with Karate, Kung Fu, Aikido, Judo and plenty of other disciplines. Feel free to join, and exchange ideas, experiences, and tips.

More and more, I'll try to ensure this blog isn't simply covering Tae Kwon Do, but other arts as well.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Olympic TKD Information

Here you can find which channel in your area is broadcasting the Olympics, but you can also get some background information on competitors and the sport which may make your viewing more fun.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

US Junior National Team Named

courtesy of USA Tae Kwon Do (they don't provide links to their news, so I'm having to cut and paste it in...)

Congratulations to all the competitors, and the winners.

Junior National Team Named in Detroit

July 4, 2008

The 20-member 2008 U.S. Junior National Team was determined on Friday during the Junior Olympic Championships at Ford Field in Detroit. The squad includes nine returning members of the 2007 team as well as one from the 2006 Junior National Team.

Team members returning from last year include male finweight Olie Burton (Accokeek, Md.), male lightweight Tyler Sawyer (Anchorage, Alaska), male light middleweight John Hansel (Ashburn, Va.), male middleweight Thomas Lee (Alexandria, Va.), male heavyweight Christian Suh (Astoria, N.Y.), female flyweight Talina Le (Woodinville, Wash.), female lightweight Nicole Palma (Lake Worth, Fla.), female light heavyweight Laurissa Tanielu (Blue Island, Ill.) and female heavyweight Adrienne Ivey (Ashburn, Va.), as well as female welterweight Emilia Morrow (Alexandria, Va.) who was a 2006 Junior Team member.

New members include male flyweight Jeffery Williams (Blue Island, Ill.), who is the brother of Laurissa Tanielu, male bantamweight Andre Mota (Rocklin, Calif.), male featherweight Jeffery Grahovec (Yorba Linda, Calif.), male welterweight Jaysen Ishida (Waipahu, Hawaii), male light heavyweight Evan Rodgers (Stone Mountain, Ga.), female finweight Stephanie Popken (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), female bantamweight Kiana Lo (Danville, Calif.), female featherweight Shaina Krause (Fairfax Station, Va.), female light middleweight Alexandra Cinque (Ossining, N.Y.) and female middleweight Beatrice Kelly (Jacksonville, Fla.).

Friday, June 20, 2008

How To Tie Your Belt



When you're starting out, knowing simple things like how to tie your belt can be useful. Watch this video, and your dobak won't flap around in the breeze.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Connecticut State Tournament To Be Held June 7, 2008

The Connecticut Tae Kwon Do Martial Arts Commission recently announced that the Connecticut State Tournament will be held June 7, 2008, at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. The event will be a Junior Olympics and Nationals qualifier, so it promises to be a great event.

More postings will appear once applications and other details are posted.

Connecticut Tae Kwon Do MAC Formed

Under a mandate from the USAT, the Connecticut Tae Kwon Do "MAC" (Marital Arts Commission) was recently formed. Grand Master Seijin Park is serving as the MAC's first President.

This is pretty exciting news, because MACs are being formed around the country to help increase awareness of tae kwon do as a sport, and improve support for schools and athletes.


I'll be serving as the Public Relations Director for the group pro-bono to help it get started, so you can expect to see more posts about Tae Kwon Do in Connecticut and in the Northeast.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tae Kwon Do Injuries

Generally speaking, WTF Tae Kwon Do seems a little less "injury causing" than other martial arts. If you're curious, here's a question posted on Yahoo Answers.

Personally, the injuries I've seen are related to few things - misstepping or coming down wrong on your feet, doing a technique your body can't handle, hitting something wrong or too hard (like attempting to break a brick), and being hit off target (in the knee, for example).

How can I avoid injury? First and foremost, stretching and conditioning/practicing footwork is important. The better your body functions, the less likely you are to be injured.

Knowing your limitations is also important - a basic technique done well is far more effective than a complex technique done poorly. That goes for sparring and for practice. In practice, you can take complex techniques slower until you've mastered them. In sparring, you can rely on your basic arsenal.

Finally, before you are really experienced at sparring, you need to take some care. Really experienced players can avoid throwing a kick that will cause them and their opponent to crush knees, for example.

At the end of the day, however, Tae Kwon Do is a combat sport - it is unlikely you will avoid all risk if you're really learning. So do you best, and if you're injured, give yourself time to heal.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Tae Kwon Do Trivia

Courtesy of Grand Master Dong's school.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Should I Wear Tae Kwon Do Shoes?

No.

Just kidding - you can wear them if you want. But there are reasons not to - maybe the most important of which is that you can't wear them for competition.

The link above has a few more reasons. This is a good one for those who don't compete:

The reason for this is that not wearing Tae Kwon Do shoes allows you to flex your feet easier. When you don’t have on Tae Kwon Do shoes you can see your feet and be able to learn to control your toes and be able to practice the fine motor control needed of the toes to be successful at this form of martial arts.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

TKD Kicking Tips (Tae Kwon Do Times)

Link

The article may be of interest - it discusses the importance of perfecting front, round-house, and side kicks, and provides some training tips.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Junior Olympics Qualifier in York, PA

In addition to learning the sport of tae kwon do, there's a pretty vast organization, set of tournaments, etc., behind the scenes.

A group of students from my school recently qualified for Junior Nationals in July in Detroit. Qualifiers are held regionally for a national competition each year....see USA Tae Kwon Do for more details.

Monday, May 5, 2008

New York State Tournament Results (May 3, 2008 - Queens College)


The New York State Tournament was fairly well attended in general this year, but the adult competition was little lighter. The tournament organizers ran a typical schedule, morning was set aside for children, after noon juniors competed and at about 2pm or so, adult competitions began. (The tournament ran 6 competition areas, and used judge scoring with an electronic scoreboard)

This Tae Kwon Do blogger competed and won gold in breaking, poomsae, and sparring (non-black belt heavyweight) competitions. Overall, the tournament was well run and enjoyable.

Please add your comments if you competed as well.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Leno and Tae Kwon Do - Olympics Feature

Tae Kwon Do on Leno?

That's right - Olympic Family Lopez appeared on the April 29th show (click the slider to time 33:39). They talk about their family's history with Tae Kwon Do - a nice group.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Big East XV Tae Kwon Do Tournament, Rahway, NJ Results

Results will be posted soon, but I'm happy to report that several fellow WCT students, including Miguel Roman, Trevor Shulz, and Parker Shulz, came home with Gold from the tournament. Miguel brought home the gold in heavyweight sparring for his bracket.

Congratulations to all. More detail to come.

Thoughts on Teaching and Tae Kwon Do

This is an interesting article - written by an English prof who also is a tae kwon do student.

Here's the excerpt which I think makes sense to read:

"First, encourage and praise. Praise what’s going right. Praise what someone especially needs to work on. I’ve noticed that when Master Gibson tells Jimmy he’s doing well with his patterns, he tries especially hard with the next one. When he tells Chess his sparring is more focused, he slows down and works even harder on aiming his punches. When I started tae kwon do, I wasn’t at all flexible or coordinated; my kicks went every which way but up, and I felt frustrated at my gracelessness. I knew what I was doing wrong. But when Master Gibson mentioned that my kicks were getting higher, I was able to stretch even farther the next time. Praise works. I learned this in my graduate school pedagogy seminar, but it helps to remember when I’m grading a paper and focused on the elements that don’t work. There’s always something that does work, even if it’s a small thing, and noting it may help the student far more than noting all the ways in which the paper falls short.

Second, both expect and deserve respect. I don’t expect my students to bow to me at the beginning of class, and I feel old when people call me “ma’am,” but I appreciate that we bow to each other before we spar or practice together. Master Gibson expects our respectful attention, and he gets it both by reminding students about it — some of them are 5 years old, after all, and they do need reminding — and by enacting it. He bows to us, we bow back. He listens to us attentively, and we to him. I find it increasingly difficult to learn my students’ names these days, but I’m working harder at it lately as one such marker of respect. Even the smallest markers of respect — a well-placed “please” or “thank you” rather than a bow and “yes sir” as in tae kwon do class — can help foster the atmosphere I’m looking for.

Third, break it down. I can never do a pattern the first time I see it, but I can manage the first few steps. If I repeat them, I can move on to the next few. Similarly, few of my students can analyze a poem the first time they see it, but if we go line by line — sometimes even word by word—they begin to see how it works. Masters at any skill often forget how they got to mastery; teachers need to remember, demonstrate, and help their students practice.

Fourth, tolerate — or even encourage — a little creative chaos. My tae kwon do class includes kids as young as 5, adults as old as — well, as old as me. Old enough. Sometimes the kids just need to let off steam. Sometimes the parents do, too. Occasionally at the end of class we’ll play a rousing game of “dodge the stinky socks,” using balled-up socks as a ball in a small-scale dodge-ball game. It does develop quick reflexes and attention, but it’s also a lot of fun, and very silly. I don’t think the desks in my classroom will allow for a game of dodgeball, but perhaps a little creative play with language? Maybe the dada poem game: best played in Tom Stoppard’s Travesties, in which “Tristran Tzara” cuts up Shakespeare’s sonnet 18 ("Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?") and makes new poetry out of it. Would that help us understand the poem better? Perhaps — and I know it would help us remember the class, and think about its purpose.

Finally, rituals actually do matter. We begin every class with a bow, stretches, and a brief moment of meditation. We end with a bow and a thank you to both the teacher and the highest-ranking student, after which we line up and shake hands with everyone in the class. When I was new to the class I found this all a little awkward — I’m bowing to my son! And shaking his hand! And, I have to confess, I still find the sight of small boys sitting cross-legged in rows and “meditating” amusing. What really goes through their minds? And yet, over time, I’ve come to appreciate the gestures. By acknowledging each other, even in a perfunctory way, we remember that the class is not all about us. We do it together, even if each of us is developing an individual practice. Again, I’m not sure I’m ready to institute such formality into my own classroom, but I think there’s room, even in the most informal, student-centered of classrooms, for a moment of reflection, a pause in the busyness of our days to focus, even if briefly, on the transformations we are working on. Rituals need not be elaborate or even very formal to work, but always beginning and ending a class in much the same way gives shape and structure to the hour in between."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Reminder: Big East Tournament in Rahway, NJ this weekend!

BIG EAST TAEKWONDO CHAMPIONSHIPS

SUN APRIL 27, 2008 WTF PATU

RAHWAY RECREATION CENTER RAHWAY N.J.

INFORMATION CALL MASTER JI HO CHOI http://www.jihochoi-taekwondo.com/

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(courtesty of http://taekwondochampionshiplistings.com/ )

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sometimes, You Get the "Shanks" Really Bad...

Yes, sometimes you get in a rut. And sometimes, it's so bad that you can't even understand your native tongue anymore. Here's a test for you...



If something in this video seems off, don't worry, you just have the shanks. Relax a bit, get your mind off things, put your keys in your other pants pocket.

Everybody gets into a slump - especially when you're pursuing a goal, like learning a martial art for example. So if it feels as if you just can't do anything right, take a break, come back later, and just keep plugging away.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Olympic Competitor Profiles on Tae Kwon Do Times

Just in case you're wondering who will be representing the US at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Beijing 2008 and the US Tae Kwon Do team

The US Olympic team's site ran a story about the Lopez siblings, the first set of siblings ever to qualify for the Olympic team. Pretty cool.

To learn more about your Olympic team, click here.

Tae Kwon Do competition begins August 20th (from what I can see), and will be held at the University of Science and Technology gymnasium.

Enjoy!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

2008 Rhode Island State Tae Kwon Do Tournament

Coming up on May 17, 2008, the Ocean State, will hold its state Tae Kwon Do tournament.

The school sponsoring the event believes that "brevity is the soul of wit." Check out the link to see what I mean.

Big East 2008 Tournament (XV), Rahway, NJ (4/27/2008)

The Big East 2008 Tournament (XV) is coming up April 27, 2008. It will be located in Rahway, NJ, and from all accounts will feature a high level of competition.

The site where you can find the tournament application seems to be awaiting update.

Winners from the Yong-In 2008 Open

The World Champion team brought home a few gold - story here.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Is Tae Kwon Do Dangerous?

Found a site with lots of information on TKD this morning.

One of the topics in its Introduction section is "Is Tae Kwon Do Dangerous?" They mean - is it dangerous to train and compete in the sport Tae Kwon Do. They have some interesting information about rules around sparring, etc.

There's also a good amount of historical info. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

2008 Connecticut Open Competition Coming Soon!

In the coming weeks, we'll have details on the upcoming 2008 Connecticut Open Tae Kwon Do Competition, which is targeted for May.

Check back for more details!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Rule #1 - Don't Get Hurt

There are a few golden rules in Tae Kwon Do, but one of the most important is also very simple.

Don't get hurt.

If you injure yourself, you can't train. If you do, you will likely injure yourself even more. In any Tae Kwon Do student's career (multiply this times 10 if you are a competitor), you are going to end up with some injuries. A twisted ankle, a tweaked muscle, bruises, cuts, or worse.

Sometimes it's pretty simple - you cut yourself, you bandage the area, and avoid using it until it heals. You break your leg, you're out.

The tough area is the middle ground, which I find is mostly the province of twisted joints and pulled or tweaked muscles. The tendency with these is to accidentally train too hard, and make a small problem a big problem.

Especially if you are also doing calisthenics or weight training, it's easy to aggravate a twist or a pulled muscle. So be diligent about not working out with that joint (when I recently tweaked my shoulder, I stopped doing push ups, practicing weapons, and, even in class, did not do blocks or punches with that arm), and let it rest.

Lightly stretch, use liniment, but overall just stay away from it. When you begin to use it, test it with light activity.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Yong In 2008 TKD Tournament (Avenel, NJ)

The Avenel Middle School gymnasium was pretty packed for this tournament, and the day saw some great competitions. We'll post some more results, but from the World Champion TKD team, the three competitors each took home golds.

Yes, that does mean that this tae kwon blogger took home a gold in forms and in sparring, in the Geritol league.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

New Jersey Tournament 2008 (US Yong-In)

The tournament starts tomorrow! The application is provided in the link - should be a good one. Connecticut and New York state tourneys coming up in May...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New York State Tae Kwon Do Tournament, May 3rd

Mark your calendars, the NYS Tournament is scheduled for May 3rd. And now, some video with very dramatic music to set the mood.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tae Kwon Do Demonstration Video

These masters demonstrate a few Tae Kwon Do techniques - fun to watch.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Strategy and Martial Arts - If Sparring Is Part of Your Practice

I have to admit, I'm fascinated by the parallels between Tae Kwon Do (or any hand to hand combat style) and general principles of military strategy.

It shouldn't be surprising, but many of the concepts of military strategy are really useful to the hand to hand combat practitioner (wiki). If you read through this wiki, you'll probably see some concepts which resonate if you've sparred before - surprise, security, simplicity, for example.

Something which may get lost is the difference between a controlled setting, like a match, versus an uncontrolled setting, such as an attack on the street. Of course, there are many things a sporting opponent may not do, such as punch to the face, throw or take you down, employ weapons, etc.

In military strategy, this would be your theater or context, combined with your objective - are you training for self-defense or for fitness and fun? For sparring? In each case, a different set of rules apply.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

BigKick.com - New Site

Just one of the many treats on the www.bigkick.com website is videos of the masters performing some great techniques. Here's just one - Master Jang doing a dizzying set of jumping spinning roundhouse kicks, with a jumping spinning hook kick at the end.

Did he take motion sickness pills beforehand? We may never know.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Roundhouse Kick Demonstration Video

You may already know it, but it is the foundation kick...