BLACK + WHITE || TALES OF TAEKWONDO

sparring: an athletic event that causes a supportive mother’s nerves to escalate + her heart to drop.

I was a mess yesterday. My seven-year-old son competed in two events, poomsae + sparring, at the U.S. World Open Taekwondo Championship, and while I was a tad nervous during the poomsae portion of the tournament, my nerves were at a whole new level when the time came to prepare for his first competitive sparring match. In Taekwondo, points are scored with kicks, mostly, so the thought of watching him get kicked over + over was not appealing to me. Naturally, I hoped that he would be the competitor throwing more kicking rather than be on the receiving end.

The time came for staging. He was grouped with three other boys at his age + at his current belt level, which is blue. They paired them up, moved them toward ring 6, and there we all stood, impatiently waiting for his turn to compete.

For this championship, sparring rounds were set-up as a single-elimination bracket, with 2 one-minute rounds. The first two competitors sparred. A winner was selected + advance. Then it was My Guy’s turn. And he won! I was so excited! He scored nine points during the match + three of those were earned by making his opponent fall.

He advanced to the final round + had to spar against the winner of the other match in his group. Dad + I were there, offering support from the sidelines, telling him how awesome of a job he had done. Match two ended in defeat but he was still able to score six points. All in all, I think he was pretty happy with how it turned out.

Plus, he left with two shiny silver medal, one in sparring + one in poomsae. Congratulations, Mr. Big Stuff!One final thought. I shared these photos in black + white for two reasons. The first is because b+w was last week’s #TheBethadiily52 photo prompt, but it’s also because I think b+w photos have a certain seriousness to them. They are intense, which is how yesterday felt for me. I look back at them + see his face, and wonder what thoughts were passing through his head. I’m almost certain that I was more nervous than he was. He would be a great designated hitter because he is the definition of calm under pressure.

Too bad he never swings a bat with any authority unless he’s trying to break into a piñata…


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