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IMU Students Performed Well at Nottingham Ultimate Taekwondo Showdown 2016

20 Apr 2016

9-10 April 2016 – The Nottingham Ultimate Taekwondo Showdown (NUTS) 2016 was organised by University of Nottingham Taekwondo Club.

9 April – Participants were required to weigh-in in the morning for weight categorisation. On the same day, the team manager’s meeting was held and it was attended by two of our senior belts as the IMU team representatives (Azfar Afham and Chan Chee Shan) to learn more about the rules and schedule of the event for the next day. TKD1

 Senior belt holder giving a briefing regarding the rules and schedule of the event on the next day after weigh in session.

10 April – The event started at 9:00am for both the Poomsae and Kyorugi competitions. Poomsae is a set of Taekwondo movements which consists of blocks, punches, strikes and kicks logically arrange in a meaningful order. Kyorugi, also known as sparring, which is a regular event at Taekwondo competitions where two competitors fought in a square shaped, matted area for 3 minutes. Every competitor is required to wear a standardised head guard, trunk-protector (hogu), shin guards and wrist guards for safety purposes. Preparation for the competition: Training was held on every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30pm until 10:00pm which was carried out by our coach, Master Tim Chong. Extra trainings were held on Sunday (27 March and 3 April) at Koryo Taekwondo Club Gym in Ampang and the training session was conducted by our coach, assisted by a black belt senior, Azfar Afham. Besides that, there was an extra training which was held on Friday (1 April) night at IMU. Apart from training, we went to 2nd League Sportexcel-NCS-Milo-TM (WTF) Taekwondo Circuit 2016 on 26 and 27 March for more exposure before we went to NUTS tournament. Winners of NUTS 2016:

Poomsae (Pattern) Azfar Afham Bin Zainuddin -Senior 1st Division (Individual) -Bronze Medal
Kyorugi (Sparring)  Junior (White – Green) Branda Tan Wan YiFemale Light Category -Silver Medal
Wong Peng Peng -Female Feather Category -Silver Medal
Ten Yi Yang -Male Bantam Category -Bronze Medal
Senior (Blue – Black) Lau Siew Qin -Female Feather Category -Bronze Medal
Tan Sing Min -Female Fly Category -Bronze Medal

What Our Students Say About the Showdown: Azfar Afham Bin Zainuddin (Semester 5 Psychology Student) NUTS-2016Az I was proud that I managed to win a bronze medal in my first attempt of joining a poomsae competition after a long hiatus from participating in tournaments. However, I also feel slightly disappointed as my performance falls short of my own expectations and I believed that I could have achieved better. Taekwondo has been my passion since I was 6 years old and I have been training all these years in pursuit of excellence and an active healthy  lifestyle. Juggling between academics, my own training and preparing other participants for their sparring competition was definitely not an easy task for me. Although I do feel that I could have performed better on this competition, the overall performance of our members were definitely satisfactory. I hope that our club will continue to strive and gain the opportunity to compete at a much higher level and send our players to Sukan Institusi Pendidikan Tinggi (SUKIPT) in the near future. Tan Sing Min (Semester 4 Pharmacy Student) NUTS-2016 Sing MIn I was delighted when I was announced to be the bronze medallist for my weight category. This was my first medal after I resume my Taekwondo training. My Semester 4 academic timetable was indeed very hectic with lots of assignments and tight deadlines. Nevertheless, there are so many other things that I need to learn besides focusing on academic excellence. Having a packed schedule does not mean that I have to give up pursuing my hobbies. Instead, I would distribute my time equally for work, sleep and play, so that my academic work does not interfere much with my weekly training. Branda Tan (Semester 4 Pharmacy Student) Branda

I was full of joy for gaining a silver medal in NUTS 2016 as this was my second time joining taekwondo sparring competition. This tournament was more challenging, I would say, as my opponent was a belt higher than me and she was comparatively more skillful. However, it did not stop me from wanting to go above and beyond my current state. In fact, it has sparked up my fighting spirit in the ring. It was definitely a great experience and exposure to me. Despite my busy study schedule, I tried my best to achieve a good balance between study and training. Well, of course, there were times when I felt so stressed due to heavy workload but thanks to my Taekwondo team mates who share the same interest as me, I was able to stay motivated and  persevere to pursue my favourite sport throughout my hardest time. Claire (Semester 4 Pharmacy Student) In preparation for this tournament, we have had considerably adequate training to prepare ourselves well. Just like any other IMU students, my timetable is consistently packed with assignment submission deadlines on top of lectures and lab practical sessions. However, I always tried my best to complete all my assignments much before the deadlines so that I can juggle my studies well with Taekwondo training and my other leisure activities. Even though I did not get any placing in this tournament, I gained a lot of valuable experience and insights from my opponents as well as other players from both private and government universities. As the saying goes, “Sometimes, we need to lose the small battles in order to win the war.” Therefore, I have promised myself to train harder than ever before and perform better in the next tournament. Yeoh Hong Chun (Semester 5 Psychology Student) Despite losing, I do not have any regrets in investing so much time in Taekwondo trainings. In the view that I gained so much from the trainings and the competition, the loss seemed insignificant to me. I view it as a chance to learn, to practice and to master my skills, which ultimately shape me into a better Taekwondo player. Due to my confidence in my ability to cope with studies, I was able to attend the trainings without having any slump in my studies. I mostly listen attentively in lectures and try to understand as much as I can during the class so that I don’t have to revise as much to retrieve the knowledge taught. I felt so grateful towards my Taekwondo teammates for their constant encouragement, words of strength and positive regards which gave me the strength to stay in the training.

Sunshine Lau Siew Qin (Semester 2 Chiropractic Student) Sunshine “Never give up, keep fighting!” This is the quote that I am constantly keeping with me to serve as a reminder to myself every day. The feeling of triumph was especially significant when the medal was placed around my neck. At that victorious moment, a thought crossed my mind, that all the bruises were certainly worth it. Although I did not get to meet my own set of expectations during the game, I will not stop there. Instead, I will continue to go after my passion for Taekwondo and live my dreams. I am aiming to get a gold in the upcoming tournament. Having said that, I will learn from my past mistakes and train harder to improve my sparring skills. Besides that, I will do my best and be ready to pay for the price no matter how painful the progress is going to be, because as the saying goes, “No pain, no gain!” As a chiropractic student, I have to spend a lot of time dealing with studies and assignments at the same time. However, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. I strongly believe that without a good work-life balance, things will get out of hand and one’s stress level is likely to soar much easily. My idea of a good work-life balance would be having time that is well-allocated for study, rest, exercise as well as family and friends. I am grateful that I joined the IMU Taekwondo club after being inactive in this sport for a year or two. The training provided is indeed useful and beneficial to me as it helps to release my tension after a long and tiring day.

Ten Yi Yang (Postgraduate Student) Yi Yang “Wow, it’s heavy” was the first thought that came into my mind when the medal was put on me and rightly so because it embodies all the endured past hardship in obtaining it. Although I didn’t meet my own set of expectations, still, it was something I can be proud of as it was traded with hard work and efforts which does not come easily. There are several times that I was in the midst of giving up, but persevered by the constant encouragements and motivation from my coach and team mates which I am extremely grateful for. It helps as well to have good time management with a balance between work and studies. Finally, winning the medal will make me strive for greater height for it symbolises my capabilities and acts as a motivation to excel further. Wong Peng Peng (Pharmacy Student) This was my first time joining a sparring competition ever since I joined IMU Taekwondo club in December 2014. I have always been wanting to participate in at least one of the tournaments before I officially graduate in June this year. Despite being a beginner with no prior experience in sparring, I was totally overwhelmed by the fact that I have actually earned a silver medal not only for myself but for the pride of the club and University as well. No pain, no gain. This makes everything worthwhile despite all the injuries and pain. In spite of my packed schedule, my passion for Taekwondo has never ceased to grow. Rain or shine, I will attend every single training session and make every moment counts. I am very thankful to all my teammates who are constantly showing me unconditional support all these while, be it physically or mentally. Over time, we managed to foster good friendships and establish strong team spirit among ourselves, which at all time, I really feel proud about. Apart from my teammates, I would like to express my utmost gratitude to my coach, Sir Tim Chong for his guidance and patience. Thank you for not giving up on me right from the start till the end. Chan Chee Shan (Postgraduate Student/Former President of IMU Taekwondo Club 2015/16) TKD 2 From zero to hero, nothing to something. I have literally witnessed the growth of IMU Taekwondo Club over the past one year. From once-a-week training to twice-a-week training; from practising demo a week before recruitment drive to 3 months before; from having a few members to relatively satisfactory number of regular members; from performing only at recruitment drive to Chariofare; from being less known by the IMU community to being recognised by the public… All of these are the outcomes of everyone’s passion, commitment, hard work and time spent. Seeing that our club’s achievement being finally been acknowledged by the University, I personally feel extremely proud of being part of the Club. Although I did not get to join the team for the NUTS 2016 tournament, which was held on last Sunday (because of my knee and ankle injuries), I was delighted to see the achievements made by them. IMU Taekwondo Club was just like my baby, and being a ‘parent’, I have tried my best to make sure the club grows well and strong. Now that one year has passed in the blink of an eye, the baby whom was once seen crawling is able to stand up on his own. It might be a small achievement to others but it meant a lot to me as a ‘parent’ who is growing together with him, witnessing every single part of his growing process. That feeling of happiness and contentment is just so surreal and indescribable. And now I am more able to fully comprehend what people usually meant by ‘tears of joy’.

Lastly, no one is perfect, neither am I. I have to admit that there were things that I might not do well, or of which you think can be better. Identify all those things and work on them together, I am sure the Club can progress even further than where it is now. 

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