Eleven members of Whistler Tae Kwan Do School took part in the B.C. Provincial Championship at Capilano College on Dec. 4, a well-attended event that attracted more than 300 fighters from around the province. It was the biggest event most of the Whistler fighters had ever attended.
All of the fights consisted of two one-minute rounds, with a minute break in between. Judges scored the fights based on the number of hits, picking a winner at the end of the fight.
The contact rules were different based on age and belt level older, more advanced fighters were allowed face kicks while juniors under 12 were not.
All of the participants got at least two fights. Master Dawn Lefebvre, a former Canadian World Champion, said she was proud of the Whistler fighters.
"Theyve never been in anything like this, and the level of competition was really high," she said. "I think most of them would like to go back, knowing what they know. They only train three days a week, while other schools train more than that."
The biggest success for the school belonged to Jack Glackmeyer, who won a gold medal in the Blue (belt) Heavyweight class. Not only was this his first tournament after almost 15 years of Tae kwon do, training on and off, he was surprised not to be nervous at the start of each match.
"I thought I was going to be really nervous, and I was about seven hours before my first fight, but the next thing I knew I was on the mat, bowing to my opponent and feeling pretty good. They were both very good fights, and I really enjoyed myself," said Glackmeyer.
Glackmeyer hurt a foot in the first 10 seconds of his first fight, accidentally contacting his opponent on the elbow, but says he was so pumped with adrenaline he didnt really feel it until the ride home.
"Im surprised at the results actually," he continued. "I didnt expect to win gold. I also really enjoyed the people for such an aggressive sport, the people who do it are the nicest, most down-to-earth people youll ever meet. I really liked the sportsmanship."
Glackmeyer credited his win to the Lefebvres coaching. She stood in the corner during his matches, giving Glackmeyer good advice. "She would tell me when to kick, when to block, shes got a really great sense of timing. She also had a good idea of my opponents weaknesses after watching them for a few minutes, and knew how to take advantage of them."
Glackmeyer says he would like to continue entering contests, as well as continue to advance from his current blue belt to his red and black belts. "The reason I got back into it again was the flexibility, and the strength, the speed you acquire, and the energy you get from it. Now that Ive been to a tournament, Im more excited than ever to be in this sport," he said.
Kirby Chew, 13, was third in the Junior Black Belt Lightweight category, while Eric Wight, fighting in the Senior Yellow Belt category, was also third.
Mark Cho was fourth in the kids Red Belt category.
Other fighters taking part but not making the podium were Spencer Wight, Liam Measure, Ali Measure, Jordan Chew and Robert Laird.