Dorset Taekwondo Hanmadang Competition

A Parents Perspective

“I must admit I was more keen than my daughter was when I first brought her along to a TaeKwonDo class. 

I started Judo age 6 and fell in love with it,  (some would say I was slightly obsessed).

Whilst all my friends gradually stopped training I loved to train and compete and I went on to take over teaching the club I originally joined aged 6. 

In the 25 years of doing Judo and 10 years of JuJitsu I was clear on all of the benefits doing a Martial Art had brought me both as a child and as a young adult , because with the training, the belts and the medals came the confidence and discipline that became instilled in me and I was very keen to get my children into a martial art at a young age. 

I did my research … Olympic Affiliated with structures in place, a contact sport but not too much at a young age , training by age and grade, competitive but supportive , not extortionate fees and local . TaeKwonDo and specifically DTKD it was!

Having taught young children of various abilities myself I was immediately impressed with the skill, warmth and patience of my daughters instructor – particularly as she was not as keen on coming as I was!

Fast forward three years and my daughter is now in love with the training, the learning, the fitness and the team spirit of DTKD ,  and I have no doubt she will go on to achieve great things in this sport because she loves it and because this is a fantastically supportive club. 

She now trains twice a week but would probably go to ever class if I could physically get her there. 

Her confidence is rapidly growing , which is no accident as it is clear that this is what the club promotes and was emphasised by the recent Hanmadang (festival) that the club organised.

This was a competition organised, set up and run by the club. It was an amazing non profit making event. Filled with volunteer referees and judges, parents providing tea, coffee and snacks all brought together by the club for the benefit of children and adults alike from DTKD sand other TKD clubs showcasing their TKD ability. 

In my 25 years of competing at Judo competitions I have never been at such a well run, friendly and supportive event. My daughter was initially very nervous at attending a large event for the first time but was welcomed with friendly faces and encouragement to give it a go and enjoy herself . She received warm words and a friendly smile from both club members and non club members alike such that by the time she started her first event she was raring to go. 

She did not medal in her first event but was not phased and by the end of the day she walked out on a cloud with 7 medals! It’s fair to say she enjoyed every single minute of the day.

The day was superbly organised, each event in a separate area , continually rotating so that (very impressively) those competing were never sat around for long! 

All ages and grades were accounted for, those younger and less experienced were separated off for some events but allowed to compete with some higher grades in other events to give everyone a chance to  shine but equally not to be intimidated. It was such a great day that I know overcoming her nerves to attend and coming home with a handful of medals and a feeling of being good enough to win them will encourage and motivate my daughter for years to come!

Whilst the event itself was a fantastic day,  it is the DTKD club and all volunteers who should be congratulated not just for the Hanmadang (festival)  but on successfully achieving a balance of promoting competition, whilst creating a wonderful sense of team with all of the encouragement and support that comes with that. 

I’m very glad I did my research as we are now proud to be part of wonderful club that I am positive will be fantastic for my daughter for years to come. 

Now onto her little brother!”