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  • Writer's pictureElliott Lee

Kumdo Competitions

by Elliott Lee

I'm lucky to be one of few to participate in kumdo in the US and even luckier to be in a winning position as I have in my kumdo competitions and championships. My dojo SungMooKwan of Closter has luckily had great success in their regional, state, and even national championships as we've gone to compete with teams from Los Angeles, New York, Virginia, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and even had guest kumdoka from overseas spar with us as well. Here, I'll break down my top 3 performances. The very first image was my very first national scale tournament with the 13th All US Bong Rim Gi Kumdo Championship hosted by the Korean Kumdo Assiciation in USA. My age group of high schoolers participated in the Youth B division, a highly competitive division with a very selective bracket. In this bracket, I placed 5th overall in semi-finals during the individual matches and my team that was selected from the SMK Dojo I am still a part of took home 2nd place during team matches, which I was receiving my medal for.

My 2nd image depicts our regionals run with my two masters, Master Min(left) and Master Lee(right). At this stage of the 22nd Spring Eastern Kumdo Championship, I received a Gold medal for our team match in the Youth B division and our dojo took 1st overall in the competition for the trophy and the flag in the back. This was my very first competition, and honestly was extremely stressing. Nevertheless, our team pulled through and my very first win was secured. Hopefully, one of many. Between the 2nd and 3rd image, there was an additional championship held in Virginia hosted by ACE Dojo, where our Youth B team received 3rd overall. For the 3rd image, this event was held in New York Nassau College for the 22nd Korean American National Sports Festival. I remember this one dearly, because I woke up late for the opening ceremony that had special guests (G)I-DLE performing. They were one of my favorite K-pop groups of all time, but unfortunately I missed it... Anyways, this tournmament had me traveling nearly an hour into New York State, but it was really worth it. We had competitors from all over the country coming to compete with Maryland, LA, San Francisco, D.C, and Virginia with official judges from Korea coming to mediate the matches. It was truly special. We had to go through a selection process before the match to select which one of the members of our dojos(there were multiple New Jersey representative dojos) would be participating officially and luckily I was selected.

They gave us shirts, bags, stickers, hats, and even windbreakers with our dojos and nametags written on them. It felt good to be representing New Jersey and I had never felt that way before. It was quite weird. We took home 1st place in the team match Youth B division with a close victory over Virginia and this is us posing in front of the judge's table. Master Lee is to the right. Anyways, those were my most prized victories thus far into my Kumdo journey. I've made a lot of friends through kumdo, learned a lot of things to apply in my everyday life, and I've had a lot of fun and success even though I've been in this sport for a relatively shorter time than some of my peers. I hope to have some more fun with kumdo for years to come.

loving my memories, Elliott

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