Clubs on Campus: Maroon Belts: Lafayette’s Tae Kwon Do Club
By Sabrina Mastronardo '15
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 14:02
Whether white or black belt, the Tae Kwon Do Club members are working up a sweat in the gym each week punching, blocking and learning new techniques.
“We have a master come in once a week to teach us,” said club president Kate Yoder ‘13. “His classes consist of different kicking drills—some emphasizing speed, others power or accuracy—and sometimes we’ll learn things like how to block or punch.”
Tae kwon do is a form of combat and self defense, though Janic emphasizes that none of the club members have suffered any injuries. But a few officers are trained in emergency medical response, just in case.
The team meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 8 to 10 p.m., when they practice and focus on their technique. “Slow, but precise movements,” vice president Stephen Janic ‘15 said.
The club participates in tournaments throughout the year at colleges and high schools in the tri-state area. “We try to go to at least two tournaments each year,” said Yoder. Their next competition is at Princeton, where they’ll be working as a team to
gain points to advance, and since the club’s last tournament was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy, members are looking forward to the chance to compete. Tournament events include board breaking and sparring, a controlled fight with an official.
The competition isn’t their only chance to show off their moves.
The annual Extravaganza, which will occur later in the semester, is the club’s most anticipated event. “We put on a demonstration of forms and stage sparring,” Yoder said. “It’s really great for the new members, because it gets them onstage to show the school what they’ve been working at this whole year.”
Also looking towards the future, the club hopes to branch out from practicing only tae kwon do to also jujitsu and karate. “We want to stop limiting ourselves to just tae kwon do, we want to look at other martial arts,” said Janic. “Lately, we’ve been [practicing] a lot of self-defense.”
When the club is not at the gym or competing, they are doing other team-bonding activities. “My favorite memory has nothing to do with kicking or punching,” club member Seth Kyler ‘15 said. “We had a tae kwon do movie night.”
Besides increasing team spirit, members are hoping to improve visibility of the club on campus. “We’re designating a new position, the social chair, to help us get more popularity,” Janic said. This includes the possibility of holding practice on the Quad for publicity.
“If you see people kicking and punching each other on the Quad and having fun doing it, don’t worry. It’s just us,” said Kyler.