SportsTaeKwon-Do practitioners honour the late General Choi Hong Hi at the Memorial Cup

TaeKwon-Do practitioners honour the late General Choi Hong Hi at the Memorial Cup

TaeKwon-Do practitioners honour the late General Choi Hong Hi at the Memorial Cup

Photo credit: Sofia Donato

General Choi Hong Hi, a prominent figure in the Taekwon-Do community, was honoured at the General Choi’s TaeKwon-Do Memorial Cup through unity and respect. General Choi’s dream was to peacefully unite TaeKwon-Do practitioners from around the world, a legacy he did not see fulfilled before he passed in 2002.

TaeKwon-Do, a Korean art of self defense promotes respect, honor and self-discipline through intensive training. TaeKwon-Do trains mental and physical coordination and develops peace and harmony within oneself and the universe. The arts helps form self control, perseverance and integrity through its teachings and training.

Hosted by Lu's TaeKwon-Do, TaeKwon-Do practitioners from around the world gathered to honour General Choi Hong Hi and his contributions to the art at the General Choi’s TaeKwon-Do Memorial Cup.

For over 25 years the Ottawa Memorial Cup has been a world-class, premiere tournament as a result of the dedication of Lu's TaeKwon-Do's Senior Grand Master Phap Lu and Master Peggy Seely. Members of Lu’s TaeKwon-Do and belts from the different clubs worldwide volunteer each year to officiate. The generous spirit of these people and their commitment to the principles of TaeKwon-Do are not only the foundation of the event, but are what inspire the younger generation learn to compete and carry on this precise and elegant art.

On Saturday June 8th, 2019, honoured guests gathered at the tournament including Councilor Wang Gang from the Chinese Embassy in Canada, George Donovan,Vice President of the Chan Hun International TaeKwon-Do Federation, Mr. Raymong Yiu, CHITF Advisor, GM Mckenzie (USA), SMs Oulunsand (USA), Peggy Seely (Canada), Cote (Canada) Zdeb (Canada), Marin (Canada) and Master Jose Marrinez (Dom. Republic). Other guests included Jin S. Xue, the President of the Chinese Community Association of Canada and Zhao Zonghe, instructor and 5th Dan Black Belt at Chitf-Zong. Pierre Poilievre, MP for Carleton and the Conservative Shadow Minister of Finance, was the guest speaker at the opening ceremony. 

Practitioners of all belt levels demonstrated their skill, accuracy and strength as they competed in sparring or patterns (a sequence of movements designed to teach defence and attacking skills against opponents). The winner of a sparring match is determined through a point system. The TaeKwon-Do point sparring system is organized by “1 point to the body through punches and kicks, 2 to the head, 2 for jumping punches and 3 points for jumping kicks to the head.” says Chris Harnet, a judge at the Memorial Cup.

The participants were divided by age, gender and belt level to ensure equity in the championships.

As well, there was a black belt power breaking demonstration. Power breaking is a technique primarily used in TaeKwon-Do for tournaments, demonstrations and belt testing. This technique is when a martial artist breaks one or more objects through the use of a kick or a strike. The most used objects are wooden boards or bricks. Additionally, breaking is a way to measure force and strength in a martial artist. Through the repeated act of power breaking, the body adapts to the stress and allows the martial artist to gain strength in the skin and bones which strikes the object. Moreover, power breaking demonstrates the skills a practitioner of TaeKwon-Do has and helps their instructors to test their abilities. At the Memorial Cup, a black belt group demonstrated their strength and power through jump kicks and strikes that broke wooden boards.

Intensive training is required to succeed at the Memorial Cup. Some students increase the amount of classes they take prior to the tournament, like, for example, fourteen year old Mackenzie who a trained approximately 3 times a week prior to the Memorial Cup.

The General Choi’s Taekwon-Do Memorial Cup united practitioners of TaeKwon-Do from various countries whilst celebrating the contributions General Choi made to the martial art.

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