Tae Kwon Do becoming a powerhouse club

Alejandro Aguirre/ Contributing Writer


Tae Kwon Do, established over 2000 years ago is a Korean ancient martial art that has finally reached FIU thanks to Chris Alvarez the head coach of the club here on campus. Alvarez was able to explain the overall concept of the sport as well as talk about the club’s achievements, goals, and plans for the future.

“I started the club two years ago and I found inspiration in starting a Tae Kwon Do club because I wanted to bring and share something I love with other people,” Alvarez said.

Tae Kwon Do is gaining more popularity since it became an official Olympic sport in 2000. In the Olympics Tae Kwon Do is competed in a sparring style with a point system to determine the winner of a match. Alvarez explained that the club practices at a very high level and the sparring part of Tae Kwon Do is what the club mainly focuses on.

Alvarez has practiced and competed in Tae Kwon Do since the age of nine and he talked about how as head coach he tries as much as possible to share all his knowledge and experience to the newer and younger members.

“Tae Kwon Do is all about the journey and all the effort you have to put in to succeed,” Alvarez said. “I’ve been blessed so far that it has been a rewarding experience.”

Once started as a small club of six members two years ago has expanded to over 30 active participants and continues to grow. Beyond practices and sparring, the club also enters itself into various competitions and tournaments throughout the state of Florida. These events include several aspects of the sport that is also emphasized in the Olympics that include forms and point fighting.

Like most sports, there are levels of competition.

What Alvarez likes to do to help the newer members gain experience and confidence is to have them compete in local tournaments in South Florida against other Tae Kwon Do schools and from there work their way up. From there they would have to qualify to move on to the national tournaments and from there the college championships. The college championship is very competitive and big name schools such as Berkeley and MIT for example bring their own Tae Kwon Do club. In the college championships last year the club had five members go to the University of California at Berkeley which is a huge accomplishment. That marked the first time that FIU was represented in that tournament. In 2014 they tripled in size and showed up with 15 members to the tournament and came back with 16 medals.

Recently, Alvarez has named two members of the club as co captains. They are Daniel Cuyun and Alfonso Meneses.

They have both been there since the club was founded and they represent the team when they go to compete in tournaments. Alvarez did this to show the other club members that you will be rewarded for the hard work and sacrifice you put in.

“Everyone in the club is doing a great job and everyone is progressing,” Alvarez said. “As long as they put the effort in they will see positive results and gaining competition experience goes a very long way.”

This club is very open to new members with or without past experience in Tae Kwon Do. Getting in to the club is fairly straight forward. New members show up to the practice and speak to Alvarez about joining. During the summer they practice twice a week at the school’s Rec center at 9 a.m. During the regular academic year they practice four times a week at a gym called Peak Performance.

It just so happens that’s the club’s motto, “Achieving Peak Performance.” Clearly this club is on the upward trend as they continue to gain more members and excel in the many competitions they attend.


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