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Aitken-Geddes fights her way to the Governor’s Cup


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Working hard and working long hours does really pay off, knowing the feeling after you achieve your goal and earning that medal. That’s why I love competitions; the adrenaline that comes with working long hours before and then seeing the pay off afterwards.

The 2nd Annual Governor’s cup Competitions for Taekwondo (TKD)  was the first event prior to Maryland Taekwondo Day. Governor Larry Hogan set up and attended this competition. This competition was to celebrate Maryland Taekwondo Day. On March 31, TKD schools all over Maryland and some from neighboring states came and participated in this competition at Harford Community College Arena. Many students from different belts and ages as well as grades train at Taekwondo at Chung’s Martial Arts (CMA). If you earn 3 gold medals you are invited to Governor Larry Hogan’s mansion for dinner on Maryland Taekwondo Day.

In Taekwondo you have many areas for training. The main three are forms, breaking, and sparring. Form puts the techniques of breaking and sparring into a series of movements. Breaking is a part of demonstration. Breaks can be done with kicks or with ones hands.  Different belts and levels learn different breaks.  Sparring is similar to kickboxing. A competitor goes up against an opponent of the same weight and age and possibly belt. They can be younger or older than you. The objective it to score and earn points, each type of kick gives you a different amount of points. For example, headshots (kicking to the head) are worth 3 points, turning kicks are worth 2, normal kicking is worth 1 point and so on. The higher the belt you go, the more techniques you learn and perform. Demo team is where you really focus on what you are good at such as special skills like flips and high advanced level kicks, gymnastics, and weapons work. 

I train everyday for long hours. I am also 2nd Degree Black Belt, 4 Gup. I am an Instructor as well as Demonstration Team member and Sparring Team Member. I train for 6 days a week, and twice on Friday. I love to do weapons and skills demo as well as sparring. I competed in all 3 events at the Governor’s Cup, which include forms, breaking, and, my favorite, sparring, which is similar to kickboxing. I placed third for forms and sparring and 1st place for board breaking. I love the adrenaline rush when it comes to competitions and feeling proud that I’m helping the juniors. I trained and worked hard to get where I am now.  I am 16 now, but when I turn 18, I will have earned my 3rd degree black belt. It takes 3 years to get it, including testing for all the gups in between. I test every month to earn theses gups. They test to see what I know and have learned with weapons and skills.

Logan Wheeler, an eight year old red belt and the son of PMHS Special Educator Mrs. Wheeler, also participated in the competition. “I was really excited to participate in my first competition,” said Logan. Logan trains at the Bel Air location in Festival at Chung’s Martial Arts (CMA). He trains three days a week at this dojo. He practices and trains intensely for not only competitions, but to better himself at his own belt so he can move on to the next.  Logan participated in sparring and board breaking. I coached Logan for his sparring match and it was a close one. He earned 3rd place for his first ever competition match in sparring. Logan said that he, “enjoyed spending time with my teammates and cheering them on. I appreciated the support senior teammates gave me.” For a lower belt or for anyone to see senior belts and for your team to cheer you on makes you want to try harder each time.  And, if things didn’t work out, your team was still there to support and to be there for you. Logan said that he was happy he attended. “Now I understand what we train for.”

Hard work does truly does pay off. I am thankful for the people around me such as Master Chung and Master Matt, Master Jeremy, Michael, as well as my teammates who cheer me on all the way from beginning to end and who make me proud to be their instructor. Because of their support and help, I have earned gold for board breaking, bronze for sparring in black belt teenage high division, as well as earning bronze in forms. I’m happy to come back and learn what my mistakes are and work harder for the next competition. Due to the amount of students who attended the competition, Master Chung earned an award presented by Governor Larry Hogan.  The inaugural competition came less than a year after Gov. Hogan designated April 5 as Taekwondo Day in Maryland.


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Aitken-Geddes fights her way to the Governor’s Cup