Taekwondo back in action at Klas Taekwondo Club
Taekwondo classes have resumed at the Klas Taekwondo Club at Matautu-uta.
The club had to put their classes for this year on hold following the declaration of a state of emergency [S.O.E.] due to the global pandemic.
But the club’s head instructor, Kaino Thomsen Fuataga, told the Samoa Observer in an interview that they have opened their doors and resumed their classes and hope to get their children participants back to where they left off.
"We just started again last week, lessons are on Tuesdays and Thursdays but now we also have Saturdays so that our kids can catch up from the long break. Taekwondo is back to their norms, we are just starting to rebuild once again since the S.O.E. break. We are slowly coming back, we have a few more students," he said.
There are two parts to the Korean-originating martial arts which is self-defense and sports.
Fuataga said the contact sport has international competitions for those who make it to the top level.
"For the sports side, you can be a part of competitions like the Olympics and the South Pacific Games and there's a lot of Commonwealth championships. And there is the other side which is self-defense. The traditional Taekwondo is for your own well-being and protection," he added.
Currently, there are 40 to 50 students who attend the classes and are currently training at the KL Security office in Matautu.
Fuataga said: "There are more kids than adults, perhaps 15 adults and the rest are young kids who have a passion to learn the sport.”
The children members of the Taekwondo club are rated based on the white, yellow, red, blue and black belts and are graded twice or three times in a year.
According to Fuataga, there are different levels starting from beginner to advanced student.
"The white belts are for the beginner level, then there's yellow which has three levels then they move to blue which also has three levels. Then they continue on to red which also has three levels until they reach the last level which is the black belt," he added.
Fuataga, who has represented Samoa in Taekwondo including at the 2019 XVI Pacific Games as well as the World and Oceania Championships, said he has only managed to do one grading before the S.O.E. lockdown and is looking at doing one grading before the end of 2020 to ensure the club’s children members are awarded their belts based on their performance.