One of the best things about Taekwon-Do are the friendships that you develop over the years no matter where you live. You develop a special bond since you share the same passion for the art and you train and travel so much together.
Last weekend I took the Voyageur bus to Montreal to spend time with the students from Samguk TKD. They had a tournament for coloured belts and my best friend Stephanie Boivin was receiving her 2nd degree black belt certificate. I knew several of the other students who were also getting promoted so I wanted to be there.
Samguk started with a testing for the ‘Little Dragons’. OMG these kids are adorable! They are 3-5 years old and they are so cute!!!! I started TKD when I was 3 years old so I can remember just what I was like at that age. The proud parents were so cute to watch too. I’m sure I’ll be the same some day 🙂
Mr. Filion gave out some very nice awards of recognition as well. Stephanie Boivin and Philip Boyd received the ‘Athletes of the Year’ award for their dedication to their training and instruction. Philip has competed at several World Championships and Stephanie has competed at two World Championships as well as making the transitions to CEGEP while keeping their school marks up. It was very classy gesture from Mr. Filion. Every year as I get older I can understand how much harder it is to keep a good balance between training, competing, school, work, coaching, friends and family, let alone having any ‘down’ time and that is why these awards of recognition are so important. People don’t realize how much time is devoted or the sacrifices you have to make to compete at this level.
Mr. Filion also formally introduced me to everyone telling them about my medals at the World Championships. I felt a bit awkward but I have to admit it also felt really nice 🙂 🙂
I was asked to give a pattern demonstration with some other black belts to show the “Little Dragons’ and the colored belts what they could work towards. My ankle is still injured so my pattern certainly was not the greatest but I still wanted to be a part of it. I still can’t do any motions where pivoting my foot is involved so I didn’t do any of the kicking drills, sparring or specialty demonstration.
The evening was followed by a fun dinner banquet to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments and I had an absolute blast. Everyone is so nice and they always make me feel so welcome every time I go.
Spending time with friends like Stephanie, Philip, and my other good friend Alex Matta brought back memories of travelling together for the World Championships. Alex even made me chocolate chip cookies!!!! It’s our little ‘inside thing’ from New Zealand and it meant a lot to me. Thanks Alex, you’re so sweet 🙂
‘Life is like a cookie….you can either focus on all the crumbs that you drop or you can savour the delicious chocolate chips. I prefer to savour the chocolate chips!!!!’ – Kayla Maduk
Getting to know Michelle and Maude better and other students was also fun. Age doesn’t matter in TKD. Since everyone trains together it’s not like you are separated by age category like in my other ‘team’ events. Some of my best friends are twice my age.
I can’t wait to go back and visit again soon. Thanks everyone for your great hospitality.