Broken pieces of wood boards flew through the air as four Soldiers tumbled from all directions at one time. Soon more Soldiers formed a straight line and helped others to jump up to kick apples off the knives. Camouflage paint on their faces was smudged by sweat and all struggled to catch their breath after a kick sequence.

Twenty-four Soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division Tae Kwon Do team performed for Maj. Gen. John W. Morgan III, 2ID commanding general, in the Camp Red Cloud gym Dec. 5.

"It is a very important performance for us, because first impression always count and we want to show the new commanding general how hard we worked and ask for continuing support," said Mr. Kim Mun Ok, the headmaster of the 2ID Tae Kwon Do team.

The international award-winning team started off with a two-hour warm-up session prior to the demonstration. The Soldiers had already worked up a sweat from running around the gym practicing their kicks for an hour. Then they did a practice-run detailing choreographed kicks, flips and stunts as if it were the real performance.

"We put in hard work and dedication to this so it\'s a relief that we finally get to do it," said the 2ID Tae Kwon Do team leader Sgt. Jessie Jones, DSTB. "We do the best for the U.S. /ROK alliance and are good ambassadors for 2ID and the U.S. Army. Hopefully the new CG will see this in us today."

The Tae Kwon Do team demonstrated one-on-one fights, well coordinated kicks and punches. Some of the Soldiers smashed the multiple stacks of marble stone using heads, and broke wood bars into half using different parts of their body. Dangerous stunts with daggers and high flying jump kicks were enough to impress the small audience of the command group.

"It was simply outstanding, showing determination, commitment and detailed skills," Morgan said. "The spirit and skill that they demonstrated represent the true Warriors' spirit."

The commanding general walked over and shook hands with every Soldier on team, offering each an encouraging comment immediately following the performance. According to the team administrator, Cpl. Park Ryuck, Division Special Troops Battalion, the members of the team are detailed from individual units and got selected based on previous martial arts or gymnastics experience from Tae Kwon Do Physical Training or the Warrior Readiness Center. The team is currently based at Camp Casey, and trains rigorously every day.

"I think it went well," said Sgt. Kang Sung Kyoo, 2ID Tae Kwon Do Team, DSTB. "I am pleased and honored to perform for the new CG and glad he liked it. We worked really hard for this and even after I leave the team to go back to my unit the team spirit will last and remain as an integral part of 2ID."

Page last updated Tue January 1st, 2008 at 21:30