Kicking and Punching
Taekwondo Competition on Roatan Draws Crowds

July 1st, 2011
by Thomas Tomczyk

[private]

Two yellow belt taekwondo competitors spar in front of the audience

Two yellow belt taekwondo competitors spar in front of the audience

Roatan, with its two Taekwondo schools has become the dominant place in all of Honduras for the Korean martial arts. The number of young island competitors that are full of promise has surpassed that of San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa. On June 10, 11 and 12, 120 children participated in the tournament and Taekwondo extravaganza at the Megaplaza Mall organized by Mauricio Duron of Kum Gang Roatan.

The competitors fought two, and older ones three rounds of combat. “These two minutes are so long when you are in the ring,” said spectator Annie Jones, whose daughter fought in one of the matches. The competitors could score anywhere between one and four points by hitting or kicking their opponent on the torso and on the head. A turn kick to the head could bring the maximum four points.

Some younger Taekwondo competitors had tears in their eyes as they received kicks to their torso and head. Others had bloody noses. “We have many people with natural talent here,” said Duron.

A competitor is treated for a bloody nose

A competitor is treated for a bloody nose

The last tournament in San Pedro Sula has been a disappointment for many Roatan Taekwondo fans. Some obvious and too frequent judging mistakes created a bitter atmosphere amongst some of the students, parents and even Roatan trainers. “There was a [Roatan] kid that made seven kicks to his opponents head and received none from the opponent and still lost,” said Jones. “That is why [for this tournament] we brought in electronic scoring equipment,” said Duron.

When all was done the 20 Roatan’s Island Tigers Taekwondo school fighters ended up with most medals – 13 gold medals, Kum Gang Roatan School placed second with 12 gold medals, and Kum Gang from San Pedro Sula came in third with 10 gold medals. Four other schools: Karosae, Honduras Idols and Jovenes Heroes brought in17 competitors. [/private]

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