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Kang's looking to rebuild taekwondo program

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Dauphin played host to Kang’s Taekwondo Academy’s annual Inter-Academy Championship, Saturday at the Watson Art Centre.
About 50 competitors took part in the event, coming from The Pas, Brandon and Winnipeg, as well as Dauphin.
A number of Winnipeg clubs left the academy in the spring, which accounts for the low numbers.
“We lost about half our group. And that’s their choice to do so,” said Mark Symchych, president of the Korean Culture Taekwondo Black Belt Association.
While the academy is looking to rebuild the program across the province, Symchych noted there are 45 white belts, the lowest of the coloured belts.
“So there’s your growth,” he stated.
“An interesting part of an organization is the number of very high black belts, too. So we’ve got some high black belts and we’ve got a nice number of white belts right now.”
The number of white belts is important for the growth of the program. Symchych noted in six months those white belts will become green belts and in a year-and-a-half, they will be black belts.
“So it is very encouraging,” he said.
“We have got, as far as I’m concerned, the best instruction in Manitoba, bar none. There’s no question. We have the highest-ranked black belt in Manitoba. And our instruction is incredible. And leadership from top end down, we’ve got good leadership.”
Dauphin’s academy has about 50 people learning the art of taekwondo.
Symchych became involved with the academy because of his son, Blake. To keep him active, his parents signed Blake up for taekwondo.
“He’s flexible. Power, speed, balance, he’s got it. And we thought taekwondo would be a very good fit for him, because we work on power, speed balance, endurance and flexibility. All those things which are fantastic for the growth of a child, which transfers over to all sports,” Symchych said, adding Blake has been training five-to-seven hours a week.
Blake began training at the academy in September and it was not long before he talked his father into joining him.
“It’s a real good workout for an old geezer like me, I’ll tell you,” Symchych said.
Blake is currently higher ranked than Mark, so he is refered to as Mr. Symchych Sr., while Mark is refered to as Mr. Symchych Jr.
“He thinks that’s pretty cool and so do I. I think it’s good,” he said.
“But the discipline that’s involved with this is huge.”
Symchych enjoys seeing the growth of the children in the sport.
“I love that they get nervous before an event,” he said.
“We’re asked to perform a number of times throughout the year. So for someone who is shy and a bit reserved, there is huge growth, personally, by getting involved in this program. Huge growth.”
Anyone who wishes to join the academy or to register their children, they are encouraged to stop by the academy at 201 Main Street North in Dauphin or you can call 204-638-3265 or email ktadphn@mymts.net.
“Come and have a look and see what we do there for kids, five to six o’clock, Monday to Friday. Come and see Grand Master (Joey) Adamowski, who will be more than glad to show you everything you need to know to join up with the organization.”
The academy will take children as young as four. Other than that, there is no age limit.
“We take all ages,” Symchych said.
“It’s for all shapes and sizes. All levels. It’s a great fitness thing. Good for your heart and lungs and the development in the children is huge.”

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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