An ever-changing life inspired by the pneuma


Taekwondo in the Olympics

Canada has yet to win any medals in the Olympics this year. Perhaps Canada’s best chance for a gold is in taekwondo. Okay, maybe I’m a little biased (I’ve only been training in taekwondo for almost nine years), but let’s look at Canada’s women’s lightweight contender – Karine Sergerie. Sergerie is the current World Taekwondo Champion in her weight division (she weighs in at 63 kg). Prior to her gold win in the 2007 World’s, she placed second in 2003 and third in the 2005 World’s. On top of that she won the gold medals in the 2007 and 2006 Pan-Am Games. In 2006, she won the Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships. She has won the gold in the Canadian Senior National Championships since 2002 – that’s a seven-time consecutive champion in Canadian Nationals. That’s an amazing record so far, almost enough to win the olympic gold medal on its own. Sergerie apparently isn’t the type to let her record stand on its own, but rather the type that will keep battling it out. Here’s a video clip of her winning the 2007 World’s.

Karine Sergerie winning the World Taekwondo Championships 2007

In this match she was down 3-0, she pushes on in the match to tie and move it into sudden death overtime. (In taekwondo rules, you could also lose a point if you get two warnings from the referee and lose the match in sudden death that way too.) She manages to get her kick in faster and stronger than her opponent and win the gold.

Canada has two other athletes in the olympics for taekwondo, Sebastien Michaud and Ivett Gonda, also good competitors in taekwondo.

For more about Karine Sergerie, read CBC’s “World champion finally gets her shot”. (For those who don’t know, Dominique Bosshart received a bronze for Canada in the 2000 olympics.)

See also, CBC’s video profile of Karine Sergerie.

Please also see these articles on taekwondo at the olympics.

Taekwondo sparring terms (Korean sparring terms that you will hear used by the referee.)

Taekwondo history (What this article fails to mention is that there are two styles of taekwondo, ITF and WTF. WTF (for World Taekwondo Federation) is featured at the olympics while ITF (for International Taekwondo Federation) is not. The historical difference between the two relates to the split of Korea into North and South Korea. Maybe one day, ITF and WTF will merge recalling their initial beginnings as one martial art.)

Head Shots (What judges look for in a good taekwondo sparring match. Unlike something like boxing or wrestling, there is a certain grace and dexterity in taekwondo sparring as it requires precision more so than brute force to make a good sparrer. Anyone else note the wide weight classes? That means someone at the light end of the class might have to spar someone 20 lbs heavier. There are only four weight classes in taekwondo for the Olympics – see the link to “weight divisions” above.)

I don’t know about the rest of Canada, but I’m looking forward to some exciting Olympic taekwondo matches. If Sergerie brings home the gold in taekwondo, perhaps Canada will finally pay some attention to this great martial art and sport, which blends grace and finesse with a true fighting spirit.


20+ km walk

Filed under: Cass' training blog - martial arts, weights, running — feyMorgaina @ 10:48

Nate and I decided to do a (minimum) 20 km walk this year. Last year I did a walk/run down Yonge Street from Finch to Bloor, which was 12.6 km. This year’s walk (this past Saturday) was nearly double last year’s. We started our walk at Church St. and Weston Rd., then followed the discovery walk paths along the Humber River down to the lakeshore. This brought us to the mouth of the Humber River, where it joins with Lake Ontario. From there we crossed the Humber River bridge (see picture below), and walked east along the lakeshore to Union Station.

Humber River Bridge

View of Lake Ontario from the Humber River Bridge

The walk took just about five and a half hours. Halfway into the walk, it started to thunderstorm. I think it rained for almost two hours. Luckily, I was wearing a waterproof track jacket. Unfortunately, I had changed from my track pants to my shorts earlier because it was warming up. We weren’t expecting a thunderstorm that day, but well… I’m going to blame it on Nathan and that’s that. My legs were actually starting to get cold from the rain. By the time we were walking past Ontario Place, my good knee was starting to get cold and stiff. We walked on and the rain starting to ease up. Eventually, I found some shelter that turned out to be a washroom where I could freshen up and change back into my track pants. It wasn’t much after that that we reached lakeshore and Bathurst. From there, we could just walk along the Queen’s Quay to the Harbourfront and then to Union Station. I’m amused that the thunderstorm happened just as we were walking along the long stretch of lakeshore were it was more desolate. By the time we got to Bathurst, it was sunny and warm again. Go figure!

All in all though, I was happy with the walk. My feet were a tad sore, but in actuality no more sore than when I used to do three hours of taekwondo training. I felt that good about the walk, I still went for a run the next day!