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Warrior Paul

March 1, 2010

Warrior Paul

This weekend I took my son and daughter — Paul and Gretchen — to Watertown, South Dakota so that Paul could participate in a Tae Kwon Do tournament. We drove to Watertown on Friday afternoon, the tournament was on Saturday, and we drove home Sunday afternoon.

The highlight for me was Paul’s victory in sparring. I had never been to one of Paul’s tournaments before (he has only been in Tae Kwon Do for about six months) and did not know what to expect. But I knew he was very excited about the tournament and that was enough for me.

The first step to the sparring competition is to get each of the kids covered-up in padding. So much so that they look something like a cross between a sumo wrestler and the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man. But none of this interferes with the actual competition.

The rules are fairly simple. Each participant has a vest with three round dots on it. You are awarded a point for a kick to one of the spots on your opponent. Alternately, you can get two points for a kick to the head.

At the beginning of the sparring, the students are divided into groups of four. Then two people spar, then the other two people spar, then the two losers spar, and finally the two winners spar. The winner of the final match is awarded a first-place trophy and the loser the second-place trophy.

Paul was in the first pairing and easily won the match-up. I paid close attention to the following pair to see what Paul would be up against. The winner of that pairing was a yellow-belt which is one rank above Paul (an orange belt). The yellow-belt injected strategy into his sparring — he used defensive tactics in addition to his kicking. After striking a blow against his opponent, he would fold his arms in front of his chest so that no part of his dots were exposed. It was very very difficult for an opponent to get any touches on his spots. Once he got a lead, he was almost assured of a win. I was really hoping this strategy wouldn’t frustrate Paul (who is not always patient).

Sure enough, in the first-place bout, the yellow-belt got an early point against Paul and started keeping his arms in front of his chest. He never landed another kick against Paul, but it looked like he would be able to take the bout 1-0. But then, near the end of the match, Paul did the unexpected — he kicked high. Paul is very agile and can kick higher than most of the other young students. The yellow-belt had not anticipated this and did not move his arms away from his chest to block the high kick. Instead, the kick landed against the yellow-belt’s head and Paul was awarded two points. And so the match ended with Paul as the victor: 2-1!!!!


Trophy Paul

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Monkey Boy permalink
    March 5, 2010 9:00 pm

    thank you funko for that story

    • dmonk permalink*
      March 6, 2010 1:22 pm

      Funko says “You’re welcome!”

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