2019 Colorado State Tournament. Monument, CO
The ROCK had over 20 athletes participate in last weekend's Colorado State Tournament. Overall, it was an inspiring display of camaraderie, mental toughness, and respect.
The tournament was broken up over two long days in a venue that was way too small for comfort, making the experience all the more intimate and interpersonal. The unavoidable chaos and stress of competition was palpable but offset by the positive energy and enthusiasm from the large section of bleachers that Team ROCK members claimed as home.
Parents, both of seasoned competitors and first time athletes, shared experiences and support for each other as the athletes warmed up and prepared for competition in the holding area.
(There were a few naps taken during the long wait times too.)
While parents and athletes waited in suspense, ROCK coaches were busy in the background warming up the competitors, setting up demo matches, discussing tactics and game plans with individual athletes, and of course coaching from the edge of the ring. All the coaches deserve huge recognition for their careful preparation and dedication to every athlete that all began months ago. Thank you Coach Carr, Coach Rose, and Coach Gerdes!
One by one, competitors were called out to the the floor, anticipation would escalate in the bleachers, teammates rally to the edges of the ring, coaches ready for action, and athletes would get their game faces on.
Then the battle would begin! Whether it was a solo demonstration of traditional poomsae or a head to head sparring match, the Martial aspect of Taekwondo became immediately clear. There were clashing of kicks, snapping of punches, parents yelling, coaches shouting, teammates cheering, and sweat dripping from the competitors.
And then it was over. Each performance was punctuated by a mix of emotion, tears, smiles, awe, disappointment, relief, happiness; and an adrenaline crash.
Win or lose,
competitors would then demonstrate the
true meaning of martial arts.
After each match, athletes give a handshake and hug to their opponent, their opponent's coach, and their own coach. Not everyone at a tournament always shows this level of respect, but it is overwhelmingly present. It is something to make anyone stop and reflect, and can often bring a tear to the eye.
All ROCK students eventually learn and memorize the "Taekwondo Student Creed" which contains three powerful statements. The second statement says:
"I intend to develop my self-discipline in order to
bring out the best in myself and others."
May we all strive for the discipline to become our best, and in doing so be able to help others do the same.