Fort Worth International Taekwondo Championship

The Fort Worth International Taekwondo Championship is held each October at the Fort Worth Convention Center. It is sponsored by the Won Park Institute of Taekwondo. Formerly held over two days, it is now compressed into a very long Saturday. Last year was the 30th annual competition. It brings together many competitors from all over the country, plus schools in Mexico and Canada and occasionally from other parts of the world.

This is the main competition for students at Master Martial Arts. At Master Um's urging, I first competed there in 2002, as a red belt, and received a silver medal in forms and bronze in sparring. The next year, I received a bronze in forms and did not place in sparring. I never competed again in sparring, as I realized that there was a significant risk of injury, and at my age, I would not heal as quickly as I did in my 20's. I did compete again in forms in both 2005 and 2006, receiving silver medals each time.

Texas State Taekwondo Championships

The much smaller Texas State Taekwondo Championships are held in the spring in the Dallas area (most recently in Grapevine). They are a qualifying tournament for the national Olympics team.

I competed in Dallas in 2005. I was dismayed to find that I was the only adult black belt competing! Of course, I received the gold medal.

USA Taekwondo

USA Taekwondo is the organization that qualifies members of the U. S. Olympics team. It sanctions many qualifying tournaments ("qualifying" meaning that top competitors there are eligible to compete in the national championship, which includes the selection of the U. S. Olympics team); the Texas State Taekwondo Championships are one of many qualifying tournaments. It also holds national open competitions ("open" meaning no previous qualifying win is needed), national qualifying tournaments (as an alternative to state qualifiers), and the national championship.

The USA Taekwondo National Championships and Junior Olympics were held in Austin in July, 2009. Participation was open, at least in the Senior division. I competed in the 50+ women's 3rd degree black belt forms, and brought home the gold medal. What a thrill even to participate!