(June 16th, 2010)


How do champions become champions?

Tournaments are cool. You can travel to new places and meet new people (of course you also get to hang out with your favorite Taekwon-Do friends) At tournaments you get to see lots of great Taekwon-Do, win medals, watch awesome breaking and pre-arranged sparring routines, convince your parents into buying a T-shirt and maybe even talk to world champions. There is always lots of excitement at tournaments and ITF tournies are the best!

At tournaments everyone wants to do well. It is hard not be nervous though. Kid Kicks has asked world champion Mr Sean O’Neil how he prepares for a tournament and stays focused at each event. Mr. O’Neil is from Canada. He began TKD 9 years ago at age 5 and won his first medal as a blue stripe in 2003. Oh Yeah! Sean was just 14 when he won a gold medal at the 2009 World Championships for 2nd degree patterns.

We asked Mr. O’Neil the following questions. Do you think his answers will help you?

  1. How do you prepare for a tournament?
  2. How do you stay calm and do your best?
  3. Why is competition important to you?

Yo! Mr. O here hanging out with my sister. In 2009 I won gold at the World Championships. That was really cool.

For me preparation is the most important part of success.

This is the best spot to watch all the action in Holland

Rocking out in Finland

It’s always sweet to have your parents at a tournament

Learning a secret ninja move at the New Zealand Nationals 2010

World Champion Mr. Sean O-Neil with future greats from Canada

Do you have a picture of you and your TKD friends?
Send it to us at kidsarecool@tkd-itf.org and you might be in the next issue of Kid Kicks.
When I am training I have someone watch me and point out things I can work on like maybe my stances, my timing, my kicks….. I correct my mistakes one at a time (starting with the hardest one to fix) until I get each one right. It is important to do a gazillion repetitions. You have to be absolutely confident in your ability to perform a move under pressure to do your best. I practice very hard up to a couple days before a tournament and then I relax. This makes sure that I am rested before the big event.

Hey, you can not control the event but you can work hard to get ready for it. Tournaments are fun and great for your confidence. If you win it is a bonus. I can’t wait to go to New Zealand for the 2011 World Championships. You can write me at kidsarecool@tkd-itf.org.

Sean O’Neil

The next World ITF Championships
will be March 9-13th, 2011
in Wellington, New Zealand.


New Zealand is a great place with super friendly people.

Here are some cool facts about New Zealand:
New Zealand is known as “Aotearoa” in Maori, which means “Land of the Long White Cloud”

New Zealand was the first country to give women the right to vote in 1893.

The longest name of any place in the world belongs to a site in New Zealand:

No matter where you are in New Zealand, you´re never more than one hundred miles from the ocean

When swimming in New Zealand you don´t wear a swimsuit, you wear ´togs´

A café au lait is called a flat white.

New Zealand has more punk rock bands per head of population than any other country.

New Zealanders are nicknamed Kiwis, after their small flightless national bird.

New Zealanders never, ever, eat kiwis – but they do eat kiwifruit!

All three Lord of the Rings movies were filmed in New Zealand.

There are no Kiwi Orcs or Hobbits living in New Zealand.

How well do you know Taekwon-Do?
Win a cool ITF hoodie

Congratulations to Mr. Kurt Ottesen from Canada. Mr. Ottesen was the first to correctly answer our skill testing question in the last issue. The answer was Cheju Island.

Okay here is another. It’s a tough one. What is the connection between Toi- Gye and Do-San? The first person to correctly answer the question will win a way cool ITF hoodie.

Send your answer to kidsarecool@tkd-itf.org.

  Darn! We’ve run out of time. Stay tuned for our next issue when we talk about the what goes on at an IIC- you know the International Instructors’ Course.

Be sure to send us your favorite Taekwon-Do photo for our next issue at kidsarecool@tkd-itf.org.

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