2014 New England Regional Championships and Dan Shim Sa

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 9:27am — webmaster

The Saturday following Columbus Day means two things to us Tang Soo Do practitioners in New England. Epic scenery from the changing foliage and the Atlantic Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation’s Regional Tournament and Black Belt test. Once more we headed to the picturesque town of Dover, New Hampshire home of Great Bay Tang Soo Do. Great Bay has been the host for the last three regional tournaments, but this year’s edition was more poignant after an environmental incident at the building the school was located in rendered the old studio unusable and forced Great Bay to move to new premises barely six weeks before they were due to host the tournament. Great Bay’s students rose to the occasion cleaning and decorating the new space, moving all the furniture and equipment from the old studio and setting everything up in time that only one week of classes were lost to the whole ordeal and the studio was fit for purpose in time.

The tournament started on Saturday morning of October 18th, in unseasonably warm weather, with Kwan Jang Nim acknowledging Great Bay’s efforts to be ready and declaring the Regional Tournament to be the unofficial grand opening for the studio. This was then followed by the Black Belt Competition. Very exciting this year was the introduction of a junior Black Belt division. Previously the New England region has had too few juniors to form a division forcing them to be forced in with the women’s division, but now the ranks have swelled enough to allow for their own division, a welcome addition as well as a positive for the future development of the New England region.

The Black Belt competition was its usual high quality with some exceptional individual performances. Grand Champion honors went to Mr. Oleg Khodko (Sam Dan) of Cambridge Tang Soo Do in the men’s division, with Mrs. Noelle Drewicz (Sam Dan) also of Cambridge Tang Soo Do taking home the award for the women.


After the completion of the Black Belt competition, Kwan Jang Nim officially opened the tournament with the traditional opening ceremony. After this we moved on to the demo competition. Great Bay demo team entertained all with a routine based on two rival schools competing in a series of street battles over Sparring, Weapons, Breaking and Self Defense before the younger members of both teams performed the same Form reminding both sides that despite their differences, Tang Soo Do unites us. Our training allows us to come together and perform at our best…not a rivals or competitors but as family.


After this the Gup competition began with competitors ranging from pee wees all the way through to adult Cho Dan Bo’s or black belt candidates. In all, over 80 students competed across the divisions.


Upon completion of the tournament we moved onto the other great New England Regional tradition, the after tournament dinner at Newick’s Lobster House. A firm favorite of many competitors and Master’s, especially Kwan Jang Nim, it once again lived up to its billing. Well over 50 people came together and relaxed and reminisced over events of the day.


Sunday started bright and early with the Dan Shim Sa (Black Belt Test). There were five students on the testing floor with Miss Suchana Subedi testing for Cho Dan, Mr. Dylan Guptil re-certifying his E Dan, and Mr. Shawn Burns, Mrs. Marianne Burns, and Mr. David Day all pre-testing for their E Dan promotion (all from Great Bay Tang Soo Do). With a smaller number of students on the floor Kwan Jang Nim changed the format of the test, making some more elements more like a two hour class and demanding more intensity with louder kiaps to bring up the energy levels to compensate for the fewer participants. The test completed with all participants performing breaks before testing students and Master’s gathered for a final group photo.


A big thank you to everyone who made this weekend possible. To all our competitors and testers for your great attitude, energy and commitment. To all the spectators and parents who supported our students all weekend. To Great Bay for showing great Moo Do spirit to overcome losing a studio to get the new one set up in time to do a great job of hosting. To Senior Master Jett for organizing the logistics to make the tournament possible and to Kwan Jang Nim St. James for his continued leadership, guidance, and motivation.

By David Day, Cho Dan


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