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    Winning the gold

    winning gold pic 2

    Ayana Hussein, 16, spars against her opponent in red during the Canadian National Championships in Calgary Alta., on Nov. 11. The weekend-long tournament had over 500 participates and was the largest tournament in a decade. Photo by Emily Rogers

    After months of training, Focus Taekwon-Do dominated in the Canadian National Championships tournament held in Calgary Alta.

    The Chestermere based club received 13 gold, seven silver, and eight bronzes during the weekend-long tournament.

    “It went really well, we had some brand new black belts. With them it’s getting the experience, getting the exposure, said founder and head instructor of Focus Taekwon-Do Aimee Maund.

    “They trained hard, they put in a good fight, some got the results they wanted, some didn’t. You learn more when you lose and that motivates you to try harder,” Maund said.

    For Maund, seeing her students grow and develop into efficient strong athletes was the most memorable part of the weekend.

    “This is one tournament that my students train the most for,” she said.

    The students who participate in the Canadian National Champions train twice a week beginning six weeks before the tournament, Maund said.

    She added, “A lot of my students got together and would train five or six days a week-two-months prior to the tournament.

    “It was really neat to see the effort they put in. I’m proud of so many of them.”

    The amount of time her students took to train for the Canadian National Champions showed in their performances. While sparring, her students were constantly thinking of their next move, timing every move out, and getting the most powerful shot they could.

    “A few of them got their black belts in July, so they’ve only had couple months of training as a brand new black belt in the ring.

    “When they’re in the ring, they look like they belong there, their holding their own, and doing really well,” Maund said.

    Not only were the Focus Taekwon-Do Black Belts successful during the Canadian National Championships, but the coloured belts also proved they deserved to be a part of the large tournament.

    “Colour belts did fantastic, we had three students get double gold, they placed gold in patterns and sparring,” Maund said.

    She added that she was impressed with her younger students taking the initiative to train upon themselves.

    “You can only teach them what to do, and then you have to rely on them to actually take it to heart, train, and practice.

    “I’m proud of the dedication and effort. You always try to push people to go hard I love it when the hard work pays of,” Maund said.

    Even if her students lost during their match they were still happy and made the loss a learning experience.

    “They see their improvement, they see their growth, it’s not always about the first, second and third,” Maund said.

    She added, “Their passion motivates me, seeing their dedication, their passion in training it motivates me as a coach to move them.”

    Maund is proud of all of her students who competed in the Canadian National Championship.

    “Having the most in gold, that makes me proud, especially with the level of competition. This is the best of Canada,” Maund said.

    “Everything went well, if they lost they got to learn and have opportunities for growth. I’m happy with the results,” Maund said.

    However, some of Maunds students did suffer injuries during the tournament.

    “I never like it when my students get hurt, I had a couple that had bleeding noses. They’re like my kids, I feel like a parent to them, but it is a martial art, people are going to get hit,” Maund said.

    She added, “I’m proud of them all, it’s easy to not compete, it’s hard to put in that commitment, train for it, and get in the ring, especially in sparring. It’s aggressive, and you can get hurt.”