I'm so proud of how Elana performed at her first TKD tournament, not because she took first place in both event (although that is of course awesome), but because how hard she worked. With a little encouragement from her mom :) she practiced her forms 10 times before school and 10 times after school for several weeks leading up to the big day. You can see how it paid off in the video below, because she completed the routine in about 30 seconds while the other girls took significantly longer. She didn't hesitate or have to stop and think about the moves at all.
And her sparring was really remarkable to me, because it was only a few months ago that she seemed afraid to even punch the bag. When she first started sparring in class, she complained about how much the gear itched, how hitting the bag hurt her hand, etc. Now she doesn't complain at all about any of those things and you can see how determined she is when she gets her gear on. She has matured so much in the past year and I can say for sure that TKD has been good for her.
This was the first time I've been to a TKD tournament, and it was pretty big with about 25 rings and probably 250 kids or more. It was held at the UofI's ARC facility and they must have had 100 judges and helpers involved. Elana was the last one to do her forms, which also added to the suspense. I believe her score was 9.8.
After her forms she had two rounds of sparring. Here is the first match. Although the girl was two belts higher, she won this one pretty easily. But, in ATA the belt colors really don't mean that much from what I have seen. At this level it is really just a sport and a way to lean some life skills.
It was really fun to watch some of the smaller kids sparring, because they seem so sweet and innocent until they get onto the mat together. And then you can start to see a little competitiveness come out. Here is Elana's final sparring match where she took 1st.
All in all it was a really fun day, and I think Elana also enjoyed it quite a bit. Maybe not as much as her mom though :)
Here is the Flickr photo album.