FCLC Students Belt it Out at Tourney

Tae Kwon Do Club Enjoys Success in Most Recent Competition


Published: December 11, 2008

If success can be judged by black and blues or being sore the morning after, Fordham’s Tae Kwon Do Club is enjoying a great year. Led by Pat Natoli, FCLC ’99 and founder of the group, the Tae Kwon Do club meets every week to prepare for tournaments that reward precision and expertise. On Nov. 22, the club competed in one of two tournaments held every year by the World Martial Arts Association at the Montessori School in Brooklyn Heights, contending for belts and trophies in a variety of competitions.

In Tae Kwon Do tournaments, participants compete in forms, freestyle and the one-step. For forms, an individual must successfully perform a sequence universally attached to a specific belt. The one-step is similar, except it is a single move, not a sequence that is performed.

Ivana Morgan, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’09, was awarded her green belt after performing pion one and two in forms. With those sequences, Morgan was also able to nab a second place trophy.

The second event of the competition was the freestyle, in which two participants spar against each other, trying to land their hits as close to the opponent as possible without actually hitting them. Whichever competitor is judge to have performed a more skilled mock fight is ruled the winner.

For Patrice Kugler, FCLC ’11, a second degree black belt, her three- round sparring resulted in a draw, and she was awarded a share of the first place prize for forms and sparring.

But for Kugler and her fellow second degree competitor, the competition was not over yet.

“Just when we thought we were done, the judges surprised everyone and matched us both at once with the third degree woman. In the span of one minute, the third degree had beaten both me and [my second degree opponent] in a single match,” said Kugler. “I now have a very difficult goal to work toward for the next tournament.”

Hard work is something the Tae Kwon Do Club knows well. They practice weekly to prepare for tournaments such as these that usually take a few days to recover from.

“I got kicked in the thumb by accident, so I know it’s going to hurt for a few days,” said Morgan, giving a thumbs up. After grabbing a green belt, she is one step closer to a black belt. The pain will go away, but the glory is forever.