Friday, February 21, 2014

'Twas the Night Before the Tournament

By Holly Madayag, 1st dan

‘Twas the night before the tournament, 
And all through the school 
Students were practicing poomse,
Staying calm, staying cool.

The trophies were placed
On the head table with care,
With hopes of Grand Champion
Filling the air.

The instructors were busy
With final preparations for the show
And hoping that this would be
The absolute finest demo!

Judges checking scorecards
Scorekeepers checking time;
The band practicing lyrics
To ensure all words rhyme.

Then from one of the rings
There rose such a kihap;
That it made even the top-bleacher spectators
Turn, Look and then Stop.

The Black Belt division 
Was about to begin;
No better way to start the competition
Than to watch an amazing Yul Shin.

When, what to our wondering eyes 
Should appear,
But the clocks spinning forward to morning
The Superbowl is here!

With students checking in
And ring stands holding steady;
No snow stopping us today
We are all chunbi ready!

More rapid than eagles
The competitors they came
And they bowed and they stretched and
They did jumping jacks with no shame!

On Hana! On Dul! 
On Set and Net!
Students rushed to their rings
Shouting, “Yes, Sir!” you can bet.

And then in a twinkling,
I heard my name on the speaker
It was my turn to spar
And I started feeling weaker.

As I drew in my breath 
And was turning around,
My fiercest competitor
Made not a sound.

He was dressed all in white
From his head to his foot
He checked his handpads, his headgear
His mouthpiece, his boot.

We spoke not a word
But went straight to the bow
Which made me feel more relaxed
And stronger, somehow.

A number of techniques he had mastered
I knew.
So I just kept my feet moving
And, to my training, stayed true.

And then, in a twinkling, 
I heard in my head
The CTI motto -
I had nothing to dread.

We exchanged various kicks
Each worth two points – they were smooth
But he got me with the reverse punch –
Our bread and butter move!

I was happy with the outcome
It was just like a test
Give 100%, work hard and just

We gathered at the end of the day
As we’re accustomed to 
To congratulate each other
For all that we do.

It is then that we realize
That winners we all are;
Moo Sul Kwan is our art
And with that, we’ll go far!

We loaded our cars and
And drove out of sight;
Ho Shin leaves us feeling proud -

We’ll all sleep well tonight!