Animo Magazine - - ANIMO -

TAEK­WONDO Poom­sae is “the Korean Mar­tial Art style of con­duct which ex­presses di­rectly or in­di­rectly men­tal and phys­i­cal re­fine­ments as well as the prin­ci­ples of of­fense and de­fense re­sult­ing from cul­ti­va­tion of Taek­wondo spirit and tech­niques”. Poom­sae is now a UAAP and NCAA sport that fuses both art and skill on the mat, lit­er­ally trans­lated as ‘forms’ which trans­lates to poom­sae be­ing more of a per­for­mance.

As An­gel­ica Gaw, (cur­rently one of De La Salle’s best and bright­est on the mat) would put it as “the com­bi­na­tion of philoso­phies and ba­sic move­ments like de­fense and of­fense in which par­tic­i­pants present a se­ries or com­bi­na­tion of kicks, punches, blocks, strikes, or any other forms of of­fense and de­fense move­ments in the form of an art.”

Such a sport needs ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment; some traits best ex­em­pli­fied by the women of the cur­rent De La Salle Univer­sity and Col­lege of Saint Be­nilde’s Poom­sae Teams. As two time de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, these ladies are the liv­ing def­i­ni­tion of dis­ci­pline, hard work, and per­se­ver­ance. Hav­ing dif­fer­ent back­grounds, An­gel­ica Gaw, Pau­lene Bautista, Rinna Ba­banto, Julien An­dal, Iana Chua, and Cathy Ro­driguez, have come to­gether on the mat to share their ex­pe­ri­ence com­ing into this sport.

Be­ing a stu­dent ath­lete isn’t an easy life and these ladies can at­test to it. Just like Ky­orugi, the more pop­u­lar form of Taek­wondo which in­volved spar­ring, Poom­sae takes a whole deal of com­mit­ment and pas­sion for your sport to be where they are right now. It takes the same deal of dis­ci­pline they show on the mat to keep up with their aca­demics as they man­age their life in­side their schools.

“Some­times I have to sac­ri­fice my time with friends so that I could rest and pre­pare for train­ing the next morn­ing. In ad­di­tion to that, I con­stantly re­mind my­self about what I want to achieve both in aca­demics and sport so I can keep my fo­cus and dis­ci­pline.” Cathy Ro­driguez, a prod­uct of Paref Woodrose School, shared when asked about how she bal­ances it all.

Be­sides this, their train­ing reg­i­men is no

joke ei­ther. Pau­lene Bautista shared that they had to do a min­i­mum of 500 squats fol­lowed by 10 reps of knuckle push-ups dur­ing every train­ing. “It’s kind of a rou­tine to us ac­tu­ally. But se­ri­ously, con­di­tion­ing our mind and body is the most es­sen­tial part in play­ing taek­wondo-poom­sae.” They train four times a week then every day for two months com­ing into com­pe­ti­tions with as a team with their na­tional and in­ter­na­tional multi-ti­tled Poom­sae player and coach, Jean Pierre Sabido.

One of the hard­ships, these ladies had to face was ar­rang­ing their rig­or­ous train­ing sched­ule with their con­flict­ing per­sonal and school life. Rinna Ba­banto, the 3rd year AB-SPM stu­dent and the DLSU Taek­wondo Poom­sae team cap­tain, shared how hard it was for her and her team when it came to the hours they had to spend train­ing on the mat. “We do need to ad­just since we have dif­fer­ent sched­ules in and out of classes and train­ings.” She also re­counted how they al­most couldn’t com­pete in the UAAP due to “lack of mem­bers” as they needed at least 6 play­ers to el­i­gi­ble in the com­ing sea­son. “Since there were just 5 of us left in the team, one of the big­gest chal­lenges we faced was the lack of play­ers.”

Never the less though, these ladies per­se­vered and worked through their hard­ships as team. Even though they come from two dif­fer­ent schools, the ladies of the Poom­sae Team come to­gether as one unit and sup­port one another through­out their ex­pe­ri­ence. Like a sec­ond fam­ily, these women train to­gether, bond to­gether, and are there for each other both on and off the mat. “We sup­port each other dur­ing matches by be­ing there for them when they com­pete and also cheer­ing their name and schools name to­gether for we are a team.” Sopho­more stu­dent Iana Chua stated when asked how they sup­ported one another dur­ing com­pe­ti­tions.

Com­ing into the up­com­ing sea­son, the CSB Poom­sae team have big shoes to fill go­ing in as two-peat cham­pi­ons. never the less, these ladies are not afraid to rise to the chal­lenge as they con­tinue to push them­selves and go be­yond their lim­its.

Their ex­pec­ta­tions are set as they aim to de­fend their ti­tle and be­come bet­ter as

both in­di­vid­u­als and as a team on the mat. When asked, CSB HRM stu­dent Julien An­dal shared her sen­ti­ment on the mat­ter, stat­ing that, “we ex­pect to be bet­ter in the up­com­ing sea­sons and to main­tain our women’s team 2-peat cham­pi­onship and im­prove our men’s team per­for­mance”

Taek­wondo Poom­sae re­quires both ded­i­ca­tion and dis­ci­pline; a bal­ance of both mind and body, poom­sae re­quires both men­tal for­ti­tude and peak phys­i­cal con­di­tion in or­der to achieve the suc­cesses these women have ac­com­plished. It is a com­mit­ment and a pas­sion where some have en­tered not know­ing what to ex­pect.

CSB Ar­chi­tec­ture se­nior stu­dent Pau­lene did not ex­pect to be in poom­sae but thought she would con­tinue spar­ring. “But then, I’ve re­al­ized I love forms and tech­niques so I started train­ing in poom­sae. It’s a de­ci­sion I’ve never re­gret­ted.” While Rinna en­tered this sport want­ing to sim­ply learn how to de­fend her­self but found her other pas­sion, art, in the forms in poom­sae, “Since I love arts, I also found it in poom­sae where it shows a dif­fer­ent kind of self­de­fense; the art of break­ing boards and also the forms that needs to be ex­e­cuted with style and med­i­ta­tion com­pared to the spar­ring which is all phys­i­cal con­tact and earn­ing points.”

Re­gard­less of pomp or cir­cum­stance, these ladies have found both a pas­sion and a fam­ily in Taek­wondo Poom­sae and are geared up to take the com­pe­ti­tion by storm.

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