Friday, 14 June, 2024

Family Series (Concluding Installment)

(Photo courtesy of Induk Taekwondo)

Victor (Father) & Alexander Choo (Son)

GOLD Medal in the Family (Father-Child) Event

“There are not many years of early childhood opportunities for father and son bonding amidst the rigours of work and school.”

The impetus for joining the competition was really all about bonding with my son. There are not many years of early childhood opportunities for father and son bonding amidst the rigours of work and school. I am therefore very glad to have this opportunity to create a shared experience with my son, hoping that the experience will create good memories in the years to come.

Alexander has found great interest and passion with taekwondo at his young age. He is very enthusiastic about going for his taekwondo lessons and the fact that there is a competition gives him the additional drive and direction for this training. INDUK Taekwondo is a great place to foster his interest. The instructors clearly have a passion for the sport and it is contagious.

Shortly after registering for the competition, Alexander and I practised regularly together. Our instructors at INDUK Taekwondo spent a great deal of time, correcting what seemed to be really small imperfections to which I did not really understand its significance at that point in time. Nevertheless, we both tried our best to turn practice into habit and attempted to follow all the directions given to us by Ms Lee Na Lee, our instructor, and trusting in her judgment. It was only on the day of competition where I saw the performance of veteran competitors that I began to understand the difference these small imperfections could make in the outcome of the performance.

I would like to point out that one of the “Eureka” moments for us was when we saw the performance of Ms Chelsea Sim. It was at that point that I understood the goal of Poomsae, how the art should be performed, and how all the small imperfections mentioned earlier played such an important role in the overall performance of the Poomsae. Of course, I grabbed the teachable moment to explain to my son the art hoping that he would appreciate it as he watched wide-eyed.

Sitting on the bench and waiting for our turn to enter the arena was a rather intimidating experience. I looked to the left, there was all Black Belt competitors. I looked to the right, and there were also all Black Belt competitors. I felt rather small being a Yellow Tip holder. But my fellow competitors were very encouraging. They explained to me that in a Family of 2 competitions, the sophistication of the pattern wasn’t what was important, but the synchronisation and accuracy of the delivery. I was very grateful for their assurances. Nevertheless, my son and I shared a prayer together before we entered the arena, trusting in God.

The actual performance in the arena was quite a blur to me. I remembered being rather nervous and marveled that my son seemed to be more calm and collected than I was, which is quite the irony since I’m the father. I recalled seeing our score of 6.73 and thinking … “Hmmm…. that turned out better than I thought!”

I was glad to be the second pair to perform, coz that meant the nervous part was over early. Sitting at the side line and watching the performances of other competitors in my category was rather interesting. I watched each pair and all I could think of was, “Wow, they are really good!” As each pair performed and sat next to us, I watched in anticipation wondering if our score was good enough for a medal. I would have been satisfied as long as there was a medal, mainly because I didn’t want my son to be disappointed and go home empty handed. But with each performance, the hopes climbed. We were assured at least a bronze, then at least a silver and when the final pair completed their performance, it came as a shock when we realised that we had actually won. Alexander was over the moon with excitement and kept grinning like a cat that had just caught a fish. I was reeling with disbelief combined with a sense of surreality.

This weekend has been most interesting. I am certain that the National Taekwondo Poomsae Championship 2015 has established its roots into our fond memories together as father and son. Our training together at INDUK Taekwondo will probably take a new life as well, having been exposed to what a good Poomsae performance is like in a competitive arena. I would like to thank Singapore Taekwondo Federation for organising the event, INDUK Taekwondo and our Instructor, Ms Lee Na Lee for her patience and high standards, and also to God for blessing us with the opportunity for bonding over the shared experience.

– Victor Choo

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