Last weekend Harrison and I competed in the Association of Acadamies of Martial Arts Spring Classic Tournament (AAMA) in Grafton, WI. We went there with our Tae Kwon Do school - Oh Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do - and our instructor Mr. Kevin McDaniel. It was my first Tae Kwon Do tournament and Harrison's second. One of the TKD schools in attendance was the Special Needs Academy of Martial Arts which works with kids with disabilities.
I was so proud to participate with them and, on several occasions, compete against them. They certainly didn't go easy on me! I sat and waited with my group of beginners for 30 minutes prior to our patterns and had the opportunity to speak with each of them. They were so proud of their abilities and were eager to comment about how much practice they'd be doing. It was great to see the boost in confidence and the joy on their faces when people applauded after they completed their patterns. Check out some video we captured of Harrison and I giving it our best. Take note of the young woman I compete against in our patterns. She does the best 4 Direction Block I think I've seen from a white belt. Of course, I didn't notice until I reviewed the tape afterward. Good stuff.
It was a great experience and very inspiring to see people of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities getting out there and doing their best. My bruises are almost healed.