SUNY Oneonta’s Taekwondo Club By: dragomirescu

Lex Valluzzi, Staff Writer

Taekwondo is a type of Korean martial art that is said to be one of the oldest forms of martial  arts in the world, as it dates back to over 2,000 years ago. The sport is based around the art of  self-defense and specializes in footwork and kicking your opponent.  

SUNY Oneonta offers a Taekwondo club (also known as TKD) on campus for those who wish  to learn the necessary skills for self-defense, but also have a fun learning experience. The TKD  club currently meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays on the racquetball courts in the Chase  Gymnasium. However, this is only a temporary location for the Spring 2024 semester. The club practices from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. 

On Wednesday, February 21st I went and took a trip down to Chase Gym to observe one of the  taekwondo practices and got to see firsthand how things are done.  

The practices are led by the talented student EBoard, to which everyone must address as sir or  ma’am as a sign of respecting their authority. Taekwondo not only teaches the art of physical  defense, but it also teaches respect, self-discipline, and confidence.  

In the beginning of practice, a five-to-ten-minute warm up occurs. Usually, this involves running  a few laps, and some stretches before moving on to some drills. The members of the club  demonstrated their knowledge of impressive kicks, high jumps, and yelling “Hi-Yah!”  

A fun to watch portion of the practice was when the club members broke out their equipment to  work on their kicks and partnered up to do some light sparring with one another. Sparring with  partners is a technique the club frequently uses so members can improve their combat skills.  Some club members explained the functions of each piece of equipment that they use, and how  safety is a major priority. Three pieces of equipment came into play at Wednesday’s practice.  Two of which were holdable pads for members to use. However, when it comes to sparring the  members are laced up into this set of padded body armor called a “hogu”. The purpose of the “hogu”  is  to protect the members as they practice landing hits on their partners. So, if you are interested in  martial arts, but scared of getting hurt; do not worry, they have you covered.  

After watching the club members show off their sparring skills, the practice wrapped the night up  by completing some cool down stretches. Overall, the tae kwon do club provides a  noncompetitive space for students to learn some impressive combat skills, and some valuable  mental skills that are sure to be useful in everyday life.  

The club is always looking for new members to come and participate, and no experience is required for prospective newcomers.Current club member, Spencer Yarwood gives some advice for people who are just starting out:  “Even if you are new, do not be afraid to come to practice. Just be yourself, keep showing up,  and you will improve.”  

If you are interested in martial arts, this may be the club for you. So come on down to Chase  Gymnasium and experience the Oneonta Taekwondo club for yourself!

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