8th Army Taekwondo Competition
Taekwondo representatives from all over the Korean peninsula gathered to compete in the annual Eighth Army Commander\'s Cup Combative Taekwondo Competition at Collier Field House, Yongsan, Sept. 29. Teams from Command Post Tango, Camp Carroll, Camp Walker, Yongsan Garrison, Camp Hovey, Camp Casey and two teams from Camp Humphreys representing each area and their respective camps prepared for months to represent their areas in the three event competition composed of the form contest, breaking contest, and mixed-marshall art sparring contest. U.S. Soldiers and KATUSAs alike got an opportunity to enjoy the traditional Korean sport, Taekwondo, in friendly competition, further promoting a strong U.S. and Republic of Korea relationship. The team which compiled the most points in the three contests topped out as the tournament winner. The day started out with a briefing on the basic rules, regulations and safety issues, especially concerning the sparring event by Grandmaster Kim Mun Ok, 2nd Infantry Division Taekwondo Headquarters. "While winning and having fun is important, safety is the most important," said Kim. "Another important point is that KATUSAs and U.S. Soldiers have practiced Taekwondo together in their areas and can now compete against each other, learning and teaching the culture of each other," said Kim. The sparring event consists of five weight categories ranging from fly, light, middle to heavy and super heavy with each team having one participant in the different weight categories. The basic rule of the sparring event is two, two-minute rounds, no hitting below the waist with all legit hits awarded one point. Only jab and straight punches, take-downs and kicks to the head are worth two points. The form contest consists of a six-man team demonstration of self-defense moves and the Taebaek Poomsae, which is a sequence of blocks, punches and kicks that follows the Taebaek pattern. The self-defense portion was evaluated on how well each team prepared and coordinated their demonstration, while the Taebaek Poomsae was evaluated on how well each team performed with discipline. The breaking event is a three-man team competition with each participant breaking as many plastic breaking boards they can out of the 25 boards set up in front with one strike each. The team with the most total broken boards wins. During the sparring event, which consumed the majority of the day, one particular Soldier captivated the crowd, Sgt. Tyrone Henderson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company 532nd Military Intelligence. Competing in the light weight category, ranging from 140 - 159 pounds, Henderson completely dominated each match. In his first match, Henderson grabbed hold of his opponent from behind, then lifted the opponent well above his head for a throw down, drawing oohs and ahhs from the crowd. Standing six feet tall, Henderson had a clear advantage in length and power compared to his opponent. But that wasn't the only advantage he had, "I'm level three combative certified, meaning the training I went through was very tough and difficult. But it was difficult to learn Taekwondo because it involves much more discipline than combatives," Henderson said. The throw-down quickly became his signature move as he won all three of his matches. In the form contest, U.S. Soldiers and KATUSAs from Command Post Tango went above and beyond in demonstrating their moves. During the self-defense sequence, CP Tango Soldiers displayed real and powerful moves, with each stroke and feigned-hit as real as an action movie. The breaking contest ran very quickly compared to the other events. In a display of power, Camp Casey came out on top in a commanding victory with a considerable lead over the second place team, Camp Humphreys. At the end of the competitions, the participants and crowd were treated with the Nanta, which is the traditional drum-beating performance, and an acrobatic display of Taekwondo expertise by the 2nd Infantry Division Taekwondo Team, providing traditional Korean entertainment to the crowd. "I'm happy that the crowd, players and the organizing committee enjoyed the event as well as provide an opportunity for both U.S. and KATUSAs to enjoy the sport of Taekwondo in a real competition," Kim said

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16