The Boise State Taekwondo club has been around since the late 80s, but it seemed to have been forgotten. It hadn’t hosted any tournaments since 2009. However, on Dec. 6 the Taekwondo club held a six- hour Taekwondo open tournament in the Student Union Building Simplot
Overall, there were 95 competitors at the tournament. The teams from Idaho included the Taekwondo Training Center, Sun Valley Taekwondo, McCall Taekwondo, Jerome Taekwondo, Martial Way, Stanley Taekwondo, Dragon Fire Martial Arts of Tang Soo Do and, of course, Boise State Taekwondo club.
The tournament ran in a round-robin format, where everyone went up against each participant in their division.
“It provides more opportunity for learning and competition than single or double elimination tournament formats,” Boise State Taekwondo master and club advisor Jason Jeffries said.
Divisions are organized by age, height, weight and rank.
The tournament started at white belts then moved to yellow, green, blue, red, red/black and black. Competitors were judged on poomsae, which is a display of balance, rhythm and technique, and sparring. The practical combative application with one’s opponent.
Kyorugi consists of two individuals facing off, one blue and one red.
To score a point one needs to strike with a part of the foot below the ankle or the front of the fist that delivers a “trembling shock” or “abrupt displacement.”
Non-turning kicks to the body earn one point, turning kicks to the body earn two points, non-turning kicks to the head earn three points and turning kicks to the head earn four points.
Boise State had three of its club members place in
Junny Foo, a black belt, and also the clubs treasurer, hadn’t competed in any Taekwondo tournaments before. She came in second in poomsae and third in sparring.
Kody Bensinger, a Boise State alumni and a green belt, received gold in sparring and silver in poomsae.
Luis Urias received gold in both sparring and poomsae.
Urias who also served as judge for the event was impressed with what he saw.
“I was very pleased with the turnout for my first time hosting a tournament,” Urias said. “As a judge, I’d say I saw pretty good competitors, especially with how young some of the kids were. I wasn’t as impressed with the older, more experienced competitors; they lacked flexibility and timing that they should have had with their experience level.”
According to Urias, the instructors, all of whom have gone through training through USA Taekwondo, seemed to have enjoyed their experience and made the best out of it.
“Every instructor I spoke to was very pleased with the quality of the tournament,” Urias said. “It was fast, fun and fair.”
After the success of this tournament the Taekwondo club doesn’t plan on going so long in between tournaments again.
“I think starting from now we will try to host this tournament annually and make it even better next year,”