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Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation
2018 Southwest Regional Championship & Dan Shim Sa
By Kathleen Edwards


The Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation's Southwest Region held its 6th annual Dan Shim Sa (black belt test) and Championship Tournament 19-20 October, in Albuquerque, NM. Thunderbird Martial Arts was the gracious coordinator for this Federation-hosted event at the Boy's and Girl's Club of Central New Mexico. Kwan Jang Nim John St. James traveled from Atlanta, Georgia to host. Additionally, Sunim Sabom Nim Mark Farquharson traveled from Aurora, Colorado and Sabom Nim Peter Estrada from San Antonio, Texas, as well as Bu Sabom Paul Dulaney (Cornerstone Martial Arts, Arlington, TX) and Kyosa Christine Biggs (Abilene Karate Academy, Abilene, TX) bringing with them students that traveled nearly 9 hours to participate.

The weekend began Friday evening with the Dan Shim Sa as testers and reviews (mid-term testers) gathered on the floor to demonstrate proficiency with Tang Soo Do techniques and Moo Do spirit.  All of the regional schools were represented on the floor. The testing floor resounded with ki haps and instructions by the conductor, however, the test participants were up to the challenge and showed tremendous courage, perseverance, and Moo Do spirit. The physical test consisted of basic and advanced techniques (blocking, kicking, punching); combinations of various kicks, blocks, and punches; basic, intermediate, and advanced forms; weapons forms, self-defense; rolling and falling; sparring; and breaking. Testing with the highest score on the written test for adults went to Ms. Meghan Farquharson, and Mr. Rick Crouse was adult best in test overall.

Saturday, participants competed in open hand forms, weapons forms, sparring and breaking.  Black belts kicked off the championships with inspired and tenacious effort.  While the black belts were competing, gups (color belts) were checking in, warming up for their events, and watching the black belt competition.  Once black belt competition completed, Kwan Jang Nim St. James convened the opening ceremonies.  All students lined up by belt rank, stood at attention for the singing of the national anthem, and bowed their heads for Deacon Rodriguez's invocation. Kwan Jang Nim St. James addressed the competitors and emphasized being mindful, giving all-out effort, and most importantly, having fun!!  Next, Kwan Jang Nim St. James announced the winners of the black belt competition: Mr. Rick Crouse (Thunderbird Martial Arts) was the Men's Grand Champion, and Mrs. Amanda Crouse was the Women's Grand Champion.

In a special presentation, Kwan Jang Nim promoted Mr. Tom Witterholt (Thunderbird Martial Arts) to Master Instructor (Sabom Nim), and conducted a knighting ceremony that had not been seen before in Albuquerque. After a rules explanation by Sunim Sabom Nim Farquharson, accompanied with demonstrations of correct technique by Mr. David Farquharson, Sam Dan and illegal technique by Mr. Rick Crouse, the Gup and Pee Competition began.
 

The championship floor consisted of five competition rings. Competitors from age 3 on up competed in the various age divisions as family and friends watched and encouraged all competitors. When students were not competing, they found time for a drink of water or a quick snack, cheer on their fellow students, or hold boards. Lunch was made available by Chik-Fil-A, ensuring competitors did not need to leave the venue for food.  All in attendance were enthusiastic throughout the day as applause was continuous and loud Ki-Hap's were plentiful!  Competitors also had time to catch up with friends from previous Federation events or make new friends. All competitors gave their all and ended the tournament proud of their efforts, regardless of whether they medaled or not.

The Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Foundation provided commemorative ceramic event coins which were sold to help the non-profit organization provide at-risk youth karate programs to children who would not otherwise be able to afford martial arts training.  These coins have become a very popular item at the various regional events.  For donations to the Foundation, please visit http://www.aptsdfoundation.org/index.html.

Following the tournament, the Masters conducted clinics to helps students with forms, self-defense, sparring, kicks, and staff. Grandmaster St. James led a special two-hour clinic for Instructors and trainees, which included an observation period for the students to watch the Masters teach so students could see instructional principles in action.

Saturday night, over 60 people gathered at Mario's Pizzeria and Italian Ristorante for supper and fellowship.  While everyone enjoyed their favorite Italian food, they had a chance to forge stronger friendships with students throughout the region and catch-up with friends they hadn't seen for a while.

Sunday morning, black belts were invited to a work out with Sunim Sabom Nim Farquharson and Sabom Nim Estrada. Sabom Nim Estrada worked with attendees on various self-defense techniques and Sunim Sabom Nim Farquharson worked with select attendees on advanced kicking techniques and flow sets.  All attendees agreed that these sessions were tremendously valuable and thanked the Masters for their time and efforts.

The weekend, as a whole, was a tremendous success. The Southwest Region is certainly on the right track with each of its students learning martial arts and its schools continuing to grow. 

Tang Soo!!

   
   
   
   
   
   
   



 

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