Barna’s Hjørne
                    (Kid’s Corner)
Our U.S. Open Martial Arts Championship Experience
By Heritage Members Irene and Ashley Davis
On February 22, 2009, we went to Pasadena, CA to
compete in the U.S. Open Martial Arts Championship
for colored belts. To us, this tournament was a really
big deal for several reasons, we both have trained so
hard to be able to compete, and this is the last
competition that one of our coaches will be attending
for a long time. Our coach, Brian Jung, will be leaving
on March 1 to serve 6 months in the Korean military,
and we wanted to do our absolute best job to get really
high scores for him. This was Irene’s first “big”
competition, and Ashley’s second. We have done
smaller competitions, but even Ashley has never
competed in the U.S. Open.
Ashley began her Tae Kwon Do training on November
16, 2007. She currently is a blue belt and is in the
intermediate level. At the competition, she competed in
Poomse (forms) and sparring, in the green stripe
division of the intermediate level, since she recently
became a blue belt. She won 3rd place in both events.
The event she likes competing in the most is sparring.
Ashley loves to spar! What she likes least about
competing is waiting in between events. There are two
things she felt was the most interesting about the
competition; she got to see several types of martial arts,
and she found the various demonstration teams from
different schools very exciting to watch. The extra
special meaning the U.S. Open held for Ashley is that
Master Eum (our Master) informed her that the head
coach for the U.S. Tae Kwon Do Olympic team was
there, and watched her sparring matches. The Head
Coach told Master Eum that he really liked what he saw
in Ashley and her skills so far. Next in Ashley’s Tae
Kwon Do career, is an upcoming promotion test at the
end of March, for the blue stripe belt. Ashley’s next
big competition will be the California Invitational
Tournament, held at the end of Sept/beginning of Oct.
Irene began her Tae Kwon Do training in mid-
September 2008. She is currently an orange belt, which
is the top belt of the beginner level. At the competition,
she competed in Poomse and sparring in the orange belt
division. She won 2nd place in both events. A great
accomplishment since this was Irene’s first big
competition! Unlike Ashley, Irene prefers Poomse over
sparring! What she liked the most about the
competition was how organized it was. “We watched
another big competition

that was completely disorganized, and it was really cool to
see that the organizers of this one seemed to know how to
hold an event like this,” says Irene. What she liked the
least was waiting, for what seemed like forever, for the
judges to find someone for her to spar against. At one
point, the judges wanted Irene and Ashley spar against each
other! A person was found, a male brown-stripe. Irene
thought is was very interesting sparring against the brownstripe,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          and was proud of her skills in sparring, especially
since she beat him! Irene also enjoyed meeting other
people from different schools. Next in Irene’s Tae Kwon
Do career is a promotion test to for purple belt. Irene, like
Ashley, will be continuing to train hard to be able to compete in the                                                                                                                                                                                                                            California Invitational.Overall, the competition  was wonderful.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Each event was divided out by belt class, age,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               and beginner-intermediate advanced level. All the competitors                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       showed great sportsmanship, and congratulated each other on their
accomplishments. All of us had a great time, and I think
we made Coach Brian Jung extremely proud. Our school
sent 24 students to compete on the AUT (America Unique
Tae Kwon Do) team and all of us were awarded medals in
the Poomse events, and all, except for three, won medals in
sparring…so we think our team did an excellent job!
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