May 7th-14th 2020 an online championship in tul was organised by ITF Germany, with the participation of 248 competitors, 41 clubs from 10 countries (with even Malaysia). Amongst them 9 members of Taekwon-Do Club Gent and the instructor, Koen Hoerée.

Koen made a report: once the tournament started, each competitor had 24 hours to send in a video with their performance, the next 24 hours the referees had the time to give their decision. To be sure the competitors only took those 24 hours, a new code was send to them each day. A link to the video had to get the stamp ‘approved’ to be sure it fulfilled all restrictions. I was both competitor and referee, judging was not so different as in ‘real’ competitions: scores were implemented in Sportsdata after watching the video once, scores appeared after all of the referees had scored.

The level of the competitors was high, some even had the chance to performe their tul in the dojang. This was not the case for the belgian competitors, as the restrictions are still severe.

Two members of Taekwon-Do Club Gent made it to the final, Sakina Khajou and Imane Mouselli. Sakina won the category. Her impression: “having an online competition is a very good idea, at least we’re still doing Taekwon-Do this way. There’s no stress, not like in real competitions, and you’re not aware of the level of your adversaire when performing. Really nice to be able to compete against persons from all different countries”.

Imane: “After 2 months of quarantine it’s nice to be able to perform Taekwon-Do, even if it’s in a virtual competition. Normally I have a lot of stress, so I make mistakes or performing to fast, but now the focus was there. I would do it again”. Angeliki Kourtesi: “I would definitely do it again, with less stress and being able to perform several times until you have the best possible video”.

I would really recommend other members to participate if more of these events would be organized. Staying busy with Taekwon-Do in a different way, feeling connected (online) with others worldwide for a week, a sense of competition and striving for perfection.

Stay strong!