Guam Taekwondo Center recently sent 12 black belts to compete in the Asian Taekwondo Poomsae & Speed Kicking Online Championships hosted by the Philippine Taekwondo Association, scheduled for July 10-12.
“This tournament will be very difficult. There are more competitors from countries that have produced world champions, but we will do our best,” said Noly Caluag. “We have been training continuously since May and we are still in the mood to have won several medals in a recent international tournament.”
Poomsae is a synchronized movement of Taekwondo attacking and counterattacking techniques using a variety of blocks, hands and kicks against an imaginary opponent.
“In a way, it’s more difficult to compete in poomsae than in sparring,” said Noly Caluag. “For the slightest mistake, even the wrong angle of your hand or your foot, you lose points in your overall score. It is more difficult to recover. In sparring, you can still win the game by knockout, even if you are late in points. “
Fast kicking involves performing the greatest number of kicks in exactly one minute. Entrants are judged on the technical difficulty of each kick, with headshots and spinning kicks scoring more than regular hits to the body.
“The Speed Kick Tournament tests your speed, quality, volume and endurance of your kicks,” said Noly Caluag. “It shows the best of taekwondo kicking against an imaginary opponent.”
Competitors from Guam are Jed Caluag, Ryan Gaza, Ed Lopez, Alyxa Oftana, Jaden Estrellado, Marc Solitana, Adriana Sabinay, Karsten Policarpio, Alessandra Leon Guerrero, Lyra Mugol, AJ Dorion and Michelle Caluag, who is also the poomsae coach . The coach and head of the Guam team is Master Noly Caluag, head instructor of the Guam Taekwondo Center.
Alessandra Leon Guerrero, 12-year-old black belt, competes in the 12-14-year-old cadet division. At press time, she won third place for the Guam team in the poomsae competition, Guam’s first medalist on day one. The competition continues until Monday.
“I expected this tournament to be difficult due to the competition I faced at the Oceania taekwondo tournament last month,” said Leon Guerrero. “I prepared myself by constantly practicing my forms.
“With the guidance of Master Noly Caluag, his daughter Michelle and my black belt mates, they helped me polish my techniques.”
The tournament drew 2,500 athletes from 18 countries, including powerful entries from Korea, China, Iran, the Philippines and Taiwan.
This will be the second year in a row that Guam has competed at the Speed Kicking Championships. At the 2020 Sprint Kicking Championships, Guam, coached by Noly Caluag, won four gold, three silver and two bronze, with golds coming from Jed Caluag, Oftana, Ryan Gaza and Christy Quintanilla.