In preparation for the upcoming black tip grading, the Taekwondo school Matthew is attending organised an internal Poomsae (“pattern”) competition between 2 of its branches on Sunday.
Matthew wasn’t keen to take part in the competition initially, but eventually agreed after some encouraging (and just a wee bit of cajoling) from me. As this was Matthew’s first ever competition, he didn’t display any excitement nor anxiety. He merely went about revising for his grading as usual. On the other hand, we were the ones who regularly reminded Matthew to revise his pattern properly because his competition was drawing close.
The day and finally moment came. There were only 2 boys in the “A” division, the littlest 2 taking part in the competition.
After a simple introduction by the instructor and a dramatic number-picking session, the 2 competitors were instructed to stand on the coloured squares. The 3 judges will determine the winner by raising the coloured card of the competitor later.
These 2 littlest boys looked very adorable when they began to display the pattern at their own pace. I have watched Matthew practise his various patterns since the time he was a white belt, and I never remembered any step! There were close to 20 steps to the pattern, and I must applaud the boys, for they remembered each and every step. More importantly, both boys were very focused and performed each step very seriously.
In the end, there had to be a winner between the 2 boys, and the proud moment came when the judges were unanimous in declaring Matthew the winner. Woo hoo! My boy won! (I was jumping with joy in my mind).
The mini medal awarding ceremony. Matthew was smiling his shy, I-don’t-know-what’s-going-on smile, because seriously, he really didn’t know what entailed receiving a medal/prize for something.
Hope this little exposure to competition will make Matthew see the importance of doing his best, whether for competition, grading or academic pursuits in future. Hard work and perserverence do pay off, although not always. But that is another lesson for another time. I look forward to watching him compete in more events in 2014. And I hope one day he will change his mind about entering the sparring competitions. For now, “I only want the pattern competitions. I don’t want the sparring ones.” is his reply…