Kwon Do Club gets plenty of kicks
Kwon Do Club participants are trying to kick their way
to nationals, and have a good time in the process.
Cha rutt. Kyung yet. Choon bee. Say jak.
That is the Korean saying that begins each match for the
universitys Tae Kwon Do Club Attention.
Bow. Sparring position. Start.
Sarah Meyer, the clubs president, restarted the
club in spring 2003. The university used to have a Tae
Kwon Do Club, but it fell apart. There wasnt one
for two or three years after that, Meyer said. Last spring
the club began with only eight members, and in the past
year, the number of members has risen to 25, she said.
Meyer, a sophomore movement science major, has been competing
in Tae Kwon Do for eight years; she has been learning
the sport for 10 years.
My little brother actually started when I was about
10, Meyer said, and just out of not wanting
him to be better than me in anything, I started.
She teaches Tae Kwon Do at TCU and trains at the Won Park
Institute of Taekwando in Fort Worth twice a week.
Meyer, a second-degree black belt, placed first in Psoome,
which is the Korean word for form, at the Fort Worth International
Tae Kwon Do Championship last semester. The Fort Worth
International is the second largest tournament in the
United States with about 2,000 competitors, and it brings
in participants from Brazil, Mexico, Poland and all over
The Tae Kwon Do Club goes to about two tournaments each
semester, Meyer said. This semester they went to the West
Texas Tae Kwon Do Championships, and placed second overall.
Meyer has more than 50 medals from competitions during
her Tae Kwon Do career. She competed at nationals, but
did not place.
Tae Kwon Do is a modern martial art form, which originated
in South Korea, and is characterized by its fast, high
and spinning kicks. It is different than other martial
arts because it is more of a self-defense sport, Meyer
said. It is one of the Olympic sports now, which makes
it more of a competition sport also, she said.
Meyer said there are many different variations of Tae
Kwon Do, but the club uses the Olympic Style Tae Kwon
Do, which employs United States Tae Kwon Do Union (U.S.T.U)
rules. There are two different categories they can place
in: sparring and form.
Sparring is the fighting part, and form is sort
of like different movements in a pattern, and you compete
against different people with the same form, Meyer
Herbie Rolph, a senior biology major, has been practicing
Tae Kwon Do for two and a half years. He started at the
American Karate Academy in DeSoto. He said the most challenging
part of the sport is the time commitment and getting
your body to move in ways it is not meant to move.
Rolph, a green belt, took home the bronze medal in both
sparring and form at the Fort Worth Tae Kwon Do Championship
Rolph said he has played many sports, but this one is
definitely the most challenging.
You just dont get good at it overnight,
The Tae Kwon Do Club practices twice a week, Tuesday and
Ray Fleischer, a sophomore chemistry major, said the most
challenging part of the sport is fighting people who are
way above his level because it can be intimidating.
You never know when you might get your teeth knocked
out, Fleischer said.
Fleischer, an orange belt, said it is challenging doing
both the physical and the mental part at the same time.
I love the action, he said. It keeps
me in shape. It makes me think at the same time. Its
a good stress reliever.
Meyer said getting to know the people in the different
tournaments makes the sport fun and gives her a sort of
connection with them.
I practically grew up at this Tae Kwon Do school
where Id be there five times a week, and its
just sort of that family that you have with them,
The next tournament the club will participate in is the
Senior State Competition, April 18. If any of them place,
they can qualify to compete at nationals.
biology major Herbie Rolph, a green belt, follows
his directors instructions during daily exercises
Tuesday evening in the Recreation Center.