Martial artists from Cochrane’s Trinity Taekwon-Do club took home 19 medals from the 2022 Western Canadian Taekwon-Do championships on Nov. 26.
The tournament took place in Lethbridge, and featured 403 competitors and students competing in four events. The events involved following patterns that were rated by judges, one-on-one sparring, power breaking, and specialty breaking. Trinity sent 14 athletes, one umpire, and one coach to participate in the competition.
Owner and head instructor, Cameron Macdonald, said a highlight of the event was the success of his students.
“We had a yellow belt, Lex Baker, who won a gold medal in sparring and I think that was a highlight for him and for the club,” Macdonald said. “We had a couple athletes medal in their first-ever tournament, which is cool.
“We had Nate Baker, Amelia Watt from our Water Valley Club, and Kiran Moorthy, that medaled in their first ever tournament, so that was really neat.”
Lex baker also won bronze in the patterns competition. His brother Nate alongside Kiran Moorthy, earned bronze in both patterns and sparring. Amelia Watt took home a sliver medal in sparring and bronze in patterns.
As head instructor and the coach who attended the competition, Macdonald said tournaments like the Western Canada Championship allow students to further develop their skills in martial arts. Although he acknowledges that martial arts competitions are not for everyone, he believes it is a great learning experience.
“You’re competing against new people and testing your skills in a whole new environment,” he said.
“I think it adds to the student experience and the fact that some of them went for their first time is courageous and for them to medal is icing on the cake, leaves a good impression, and they want to seek out more of that experience.”
As representatives of Cochrane’s martial arts community, Macdonald said his students are eager to continue competing and there is already excitement surrounding where they will compete next.
“I’ve already had people from this weekend’s competition say how eager they are to see us in the provincials in March and the nationals in May,” Macdonald said. “So, I hope that Trinity will be sending a large team to the nationals.
“We have a year to work towards and gear up for it, and hopefully have more success in future events.”
With those competitions in mind, Macdonald said the future of Trinity Taekwon-Do club is bright and he intends to train hard alongside his students.
“The students that come and learn here are amazing,” Macdonald said. “Taekwon-Do is a self-defence-based martial arts, but its very much family focused and such a neat sport where adults and kids can learn at the same rate and be in the same class.
“We’ll keep pushing on and training hard, and hopefully more people take on the competition scene.”