On May 19, the USA National Tong-Il Moo-Do held its 2nd National Martial Arts Tournament at the Boys and Girls Club in Clifton, NJ. The tournament was lead by Master Vincente Belmonte who was appointed as the President for the World Tong-Il Moo-Do Federation in the USA in November 2018.
A total of 49 competitors ranging from age six to twenty-six competed while family and friends watched. Tong-Il Moo-Do chapters from seven different communities participated from New York, NY, Tarrytown, NY, Barrytown, NY, Clifton, NJ, Little Ferry, NJ, Elizabeth, NJ, and as far away as San Francisco, CA. Competitors from two other martial arts schools also participated in the National Tournament representing the Clifton Martial Arts Academy and the Shotokan Karate Dojo.
Tong-Il Moo-Do is a unified martial arts form that brings together several different styles and qualities of martial arts. The goal of the tournament is to bring together the different schools of martial arts to exemplify the beauty and singularity/uniqueness of each style. The 2019 tournament also commemorated the 40th year since the founding of Tong-Il Moo-Do in 1979.
Grandmaster Dr. Joon Ho Seuk, the founder and President of World Tong-Il Moo-Do Federation International came all the way from Korea to attend and presided over the tournament as one of four honorary guests. From the USA, Bishop Rene Ballenas of the Association of Christian Evangelists, Master Kensaku Takahashi, and Master Gerry Servito also presided as guests of honor.
The program began with the entrance of all the competitors, officiators and referees who greeted the guests with a half bow. Bishop Ballenas delivered the invocation and opening remarks followed by an inspirational message from Dr. Seuk. Master Takahashi and Master Servito were then presented with certificates of recognition as the first black belts of Tong-Il Moo-Do and their work internationally with teaching martial arts along with its philosophy to young people. Before the competition, a martial arts demonstration was given by the USA Tong-Il Moo-Do black belts and an oath of sportsmanship was declared by all the competitors.
The tournament displayed the youth’s discipline and skills in four different categories: form, board breaking, sparring, and team demo. Individuals demonstrated their martial arts form based on their level and style while judges made up of martial arts teachers and masters graded them through a points system.
Medals and trophies were given out to the winners in the four categories and age divisions, with some trophies being almost as tall as its winner!