The WooSong Warriors: An Underdog Story

The past couple of days, I’ve been with my sons at their Taekwondo tournament. Athletes from all over the world gathered to compete in an array of events, including board breaking, traditional and creative forms (see the first video – my son is the one on the right), and team events.

 

First thing on the second day was the Team Recreational Demo competition. Twelve teams faced off.

Now, before I get into the competition itself, I want to tell you a few things about the teams. Most have members who have first- and second-degree black belts. Most have been around for several years. Most have a Master Instructor (a higher-degree black belt, often from Korea) either training the team or even competing with them. Many don’t include very young or middle-age members.

The team my boys are on is called the WooSong Warriors. It’s a newer team from a newer school, having been created about eighteen months ago. There are no black belts on the team. They haven’t had a Master Instructor for about a year. Their youngest member starts kindergarten this year, and four others are under twelve (my younger son included). Four are parents of younger members.

woosong team1

All that to say this: with twelve teams competing, the WooSong Warriors weren’t “expected” to medal.

So imagine everyone’s surprise when they took the mat and did this. Turn on the sound; the music is part of the fun.

 

They were the fourth team to perform (the third was an established, black-belt filled one), and until around the ninth team, the WooSong Warriors were in first place. By the time all the teams had gone, they had taken the bronze medal, coming in 0.5 points behind the silver medalists.

To say they were excited is a major understatement.

woosong team

It goes to show how the careful planning and support from their in-house instructor, their coach, and the dedication of each member yielded amazing, well-earned results.

They each went home a little heavier with one of these around their neck. And I know that’s a memory my boys will have for the rest of their lives.

Nathan's medal

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