Taekwondo demonstration excites SF State club

Club Taekwondo at SF State University practice in the mat room of the gym. Pasoon Ahmadzai(right) , a senior at SF State, spares with Master Mike Wong (left) . Photo by Nelson Estrada.

The Taekwondo Club at SF State is expecting visitors from a foreign collegiate team of athletes, Feb. 16, to demonstrate new techniques and talk about changing regulations in the sport.

The visiting team is flying from Shinsung University in South Korea. According to Bill Dewart, the club’s coach and a faculty member of the kinesiology department, their presence is an honor to the university.

“Taekwondo was invented in Korea,” Dewart said. “Since the governing board of taekwondo is in Korea, they’re affiliated with the World Taekwondo Federation.”

Because taekwondo is the only Olympic sport governed by a single country, the regulations they make are considered law in the taekwondo world. Dewart said many of the changes have to do with the type of contact that generates points during matches.

“Before you had to hit with really solid contact to score a point in sparring competitions. Now light contact is acceptable. As long as the foot (makes contact) the points on the scoreboard will go up,” Dewart said.

Dewart hopes to develop a relationship with the visiting team and eventually send SF State students to Shinsung University to train with “elite athletes.”

From this particular visit, however, Dewart hopes students take in more than the newest sparring moves.

“I hope they take exposure to another culture and the gift of a different experience,” Dewart said.

The demonstration is open to the public and will take place Feb. 16 in GYM 147 from 12 – 4 p.m.