June 4, 2009

Tae Kwon Do tournament comes to Washburn

By Don Winter

Saturday, June 13 brings an exciting event to the Washburn area when the Washburn Tae Kwon Do School will host its first festival and competition at Washburn High School. "This is a big opportunity for Washburn," said Master Ken Sorenson of Alliance Tae Kwon Do. "This event should see at least 100 competitors come to the area, we are expecting eight or nine Masters (fourth degree black belt or higher) and three or four Grand Masters (seventh degree black belt or higher). Plus this is an IBF tournament (International Black Belt Federation). The IBF encompasses schools in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Alaska, Florida, Washington, Wisconsin, Iowa and Germany. It’s the third largest World Tae Kwon Do Association located in the U.S. This will be the first event like this ever held in this area, and we are so pleased and proud that they picked Washburn to host it." Tae Kwon do is a Korean martial art, and the national sport of Korea. It is the world’s most popular martial art in terms of numbers of practitioners. Loosely translated tae kwon do means the way of foot and fist. Tae kwon do is more than just about self-defense skills or fighting. It is also a way to improve overall physical fitness, by emphasizing stretching and exercise. It claims to improve mental fitness as participants focus on concentration, meditation and philosophy. "I’ve seen a real difference in some of my students," said Mike Scharnowske of Odyssey Tae Kwon Do of Wilton/Wing. In his other life, Scharnowske is a physical education teacher, and he’s seen the difference in strength, stamina and discipline that entering the program has wrought on students he sees both during school and after.

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