Worlds Recap 2015

It has been quite in this space for a bit while we have done some family visiting and some traveling for our annual Worlds TaeKwonDo tournament.  Also four of my friends had babies and two are moving... we've been busy!  I always say I'll get better about pre-publishing so no one misses us too much, but since I never do I should probably stop promising I will.   If you have been following along on the Work and Play, Day by Day Facebook page, you have seen some of this information already, but this is the narrated version complete with different pictures and other fun things we did besides just TWD.



Preparations

Before we left, we headed to my parent's for the Fourth of July weekend.   I read four books while kids ran around in the pool and went fishing at my grandma's.

I did not take one single picture so you'll just have to believe me we were there.  On Monday we left Lucie, Logan, and Kylee for a week of Grandma and Papa fun and headed home to load up.

For the week leading up to our trip I was sure we were going to all fit in Tim's little Chevy Sonic.   We only had four people so I was going to make it work.

Packing

After repacking everything into our much roomier truck, we were ready to roll.

Tuesday

Tuesday was a lot of driving.  We switched to our truck, but it was in desperate need of an oil change so we ended up stopping in Ames, IA at about 7:30 in the morning just for that purpose.  Otherwise with only big kids, we only had to make a couple stops and made great time the rest of the day.


Worlds 2015

Total travel time was about 13 hours, even with our oil change stop.  Everyone was hungry when we were finally settled so we walked down the Riverfront a bit to get dinner.  We ended up at a bar that didn't have a children's menu but DID have half price appetizers so Caleb ordered these BBQ pork "sliders".

Worlds 2015

Pretty sure sliders have gotten bigger since I was a kid.  Even Caleb the super eating machine could not finish all five.  I think he managed two and maybe Daddy ate one.

Wednesday

Wednesday I spent all day in instructor and leadership classes.  I took a kicking class and a forms class and then a couple of business classes.  I touched base with my friend Mary and her son Matthew and we spent a good portion of the afternoon together.   

Tim took the boys to see Jurassic World.

And to the Pro-Shop, which I'm pretty sure earned a lot more of our money with the three of them there unsupervised.  Pretty sure they went every single day and found something they just HAD to have!!

Thursday

Worlds 2015

In the morning, I took a couple more classes (social media marketing and board breaking).  Tim and the kids visited the Old Statehouse, a free museum nearby our hotel and the tournament site.

PicMonkey Collage

Thursday afternoon was the beginning of the Top Ten, Tournament of Champions.  Within the ATA Worlds weekend are two complete and separate tournaments.  The first tournament held Thursday and Friday only is for black belts of all ages who qualify through a season-long points system and a district championship.  Caleb qualified in two events this year, Traditional Weapons and his Creative (or free-form) Weapon.   Thursday was creative weapons.  Caleb competed with his Gum Do (Sword) and took first place!

Worlds 2015

Worlds 2015

Friday

Friday morning we watched our friend Rachel test for her 5th Degree Black Belt.

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She is FIERCE!

She is also awesome because she brought us this shirt...


In the ATA we have a special program for the younger kids, called the Tiger program.  Each belt has a corresponding animal.  Baron is the animal for black belt and this is a size CXS.

For Siena.

Because she will "always be a black belt" in Rachel's heart.

Yeah, she made me cry too.

(I tested for my second degree black belt at Worlds last year, when I was pregnant with Siena).

Friday afternoon, Caleb competed in the Top Ten tournament in the Traditional Weapons competition.  He competed with his Sshang jeol bong (nunchucks) and took second place!   He actually dropped his weapon, which is the first time he has ever done that in a tournament, but he hung in there and finished strong.

Worlds 2015
Warming Up
Worlds 2015

Worlds 2015

Saturday

Starting Saturday is the second tournament of the weekend, which amounts to a full tournament for all students.  It is the first tournament of the new season and the first opportunity to earn points towards qualifying for Top Ten in 2016.

Saturday morning, Caleb competed in the same two events he competed in Thursday and Friday and also Traditional Forms.  He took first place in all three events!!!

Worlds 2015
Last minute help on his form from Daddy!
In the next ring over, there was a team sparring match taking place and it was REALLY loud.  So loud that many of the competitors in Caleb's ring were a bit on sensory overloaded, so the judges allowed the competitors to wear headphones to block the noise.   One of the judges even asked for a pair from some parents so he could wear them too.  He didn't want the kids to feel different for needing to wear them.

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Pretty sure that's how you spell respect.

The ATA takes their commitment to these athletes seriously and I will bring a program to our small town if it is the last thing I do (just to put it out there).  We know it's worth the drive, but other people don't know that yet so I'm gonna bring it to them (might take a couple years....).  As a side note, the short blond judge in the center was Caleb's very first ever instructor when he started the Tiger program out in Utah almost 5 years ago.  Always great to see her at national events!

After hanging tough all week, Aidan finally got a chance to compete on Saturday afternoon.  He competed in Traditional Forms and Combat Weapons Sparring.  He's a little short for his age and unfortunately that makes a pretty big difference in his ring.  He sparred really well though and took fourth place.  Fourth place, unfortunately didn't get the same giant trophy's that 1st-3rd did (and of which his brother had already earned 3 in addition to his top ten medals and pins) and we had to do some cheering up on Saturday night.   Thankfully he is REALLY a good sport and perked back up quickly, practicing in our hotel room for quite awhile so that he can do better next time.  Even though I know he sees all of Caleb's struggles on a day to day basis, I think he still feels a little jealous that Caleb "gets" to compete in a smaller, lower intensity, ring.  Aidan is a tough kid, but not a rough kid and a lot of the other 11-12 year old boys definitely fall squarely into the rough category!

Worlds 2015
Short or not, he is clearly growing and I think is going to need a new jacket soon!

Sunday

All good things must come to an end and Sunday was the end of a great week!  After we loaded up the truck, Tim competed in Traditional Forms and Combat Weapons.  He took 2nd Place in Combat Weapons.  He says he only competes in Traditional Forms to give him an edge in Combat....as in, after they see his form they under estimate his combat skills.

I guess that's one strategy?

Regardless, I know he was really happy with his placement.  Partially because he wasn't in the greatest aerobic shape and he sparred more matches than anyone else in his ring.  Partially because he jammed up his wrist in his first match.  And partially because I am forced to break our "judging is hard and we accept whatever we get and sometimes it doesn't go our way" party line to complain about a judge who was the instructor of one of the competitors who blatantly favored him from the start to the finish of the competition.  She even stopped time to argue for his points (this is a big no-no, judges aren't supposed to discuss what they see only call points and whatever at least 2/3 agree on are the points awarded)!  Thankfully the other judges kept her in check but I have no doubt the two of them went back to their school to complain about her student losing to Tim in the semi-final round ... the ring hadn't even finished before they started whispering (loudly) in the corner.  Oh well, her bias didn't really affect Tim (because he's just that awesome... and has freakishly long arms) although I can't say the same thing for a couple of the other guys who were seriously cheated in other events.  Thankfully 30-39 year old men aren't usually there to be hyper-competitive and mostly just want to have fun at this point so they didn't let it get them down.  Many were competing in their first tournament as black belts so they all get props for being awesome.

Worlds 2015

Before we left, the kids had a chance to take a picture with Grand Master.  We probably should have had them wearing their uniforms, but oh well.   Grand Master even made Caleb smile!!

Worlds 2015

Worlds 2015

And then we got in the car and drove another 13 hours home, getting home around 3:00 on Monday morning in the middle of a rainstorm!

I'm tired again just writing all about it.

The moral of the story is that fun was had and everyone always comes home with new ideas of things they want to work on next and goals for the next season.  Which to me, is half the point!

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