Saturday was the Blackburn TKD tournament and then on Sunday we were lucky to have a sparring seminar with Master Suarez and Mr. Julio Carlos, from the United States. It was perfect for competitors from out of town to stay for the seminar. Mr. Carlos is a multiple time World Champion and has such a distinct, original and incredible style of sparring. He is known all around the world, talked about and emulated by TKD athletes globally. He is fast, skilled, and his movement in the ring is inspiring. Master Suarez is an amazing coach and Instructor. He teaches sparring in a positive and unique way. He focuses a lot on foot work and movement. I love his seminars and was really looking forward to it!
I was able to pick up so many drills not only for myself but students in our dojang as well. I love finding new drills and different ways of approaching sparring concepts. I am definitely going to practice all of Master Suarez’s drills, because they are effective and I am a big fan of them. The first hour was a long warm up full of games and drills to get ready for sparring. They were all new and exciting. Then, we spent a full hour simply on movement and foot work. This is Mr. Carlos specialty so it was really cool to watch him demonstrate while we tried to emulate him. Movement is so incredibly important in sparring for setting up combinations, defending (you can’t get scored on if you are never hit) and attacking. Then we did kicking drills, still using the foot work.
The last portion of the seminar was the coolest…. Mr. Carlos agreed to spar every single person that attended the seminar for 1 minute each. Now that doesn’t seem like a long time, but when you are sparring someone as skilled as he is, it’s long, tiring and FUN! I absolutely loved sparring him. I had so much fun. He’s entertaining to watch, but sparring him is stressful because your mind races and you have to be fully engaged and ready for anything.
Seminars like this are really interesting too because half of the room was filled with black belts, World Champions, National Team members, Instructors, and then the other half was full of young kids, color belts and aspiring champions. Some day down the road, those color belts will really appreciate what they got to experience. In a room full of people like that, the atmosphere is different. It’s more intense, but positive and fun. Everyone is working and pushing themselves with positive re-inforcement. It’s a really cool environment.
I love training more than anything, and that environment is my favorite. Even though, I wasn’t in top shape with my foot and not training for a few months, mentally I was back to where I feel my best and where I feel most like myself. This weekend was exactly what I needed to get me back to feeling like myself and lighting the fire in my eyes and heart again. I am more motivated than ever and I am ready for a great year. 🙂
Thank you Mr. LeGrow and Mr. Cabanas for organizing the Tournament plus this seminar and thank you Master Suarez and Mr. Carlos for sharing your knowledge and experience.
To view all 400 photos that were taken at the seminar click on the photo below. There are pictures of everyone who attended the seminar 🙂