by Stevie Larson
When considering Dragon Athletics, Tae Kwon Do is not the first thing to come to mind. MSUM Tae Kwon Do has been around for over 35 years. It was initially offered as a general education class, but in the fall of 2014, the class was dropped due to budget cuts, according to Eva Rude, the Club President.
“Since we were a one credit class we got cut,” Rude said. “But we are back now as a full blown club and we’re doing well.”
Indeed, the club is doing well. They sent five students to the national tournament this summer with four of them placing, including sophomore Sam Johnson who won the only gold medal for the club.
“It was pretty fun,” Johnson said, “Everybody that competed at the tournament at least got a medal, which was awesome.”
Johnson said that she chose to join the club because she had previous martial arts experience.
“I had been involved in karate since I was a kid, and was looking for a martial arts club,” she said. “I saw that they offered Tae Kwon Do Club and instantly wanted to join.”
In addition to Johnson, the club sent Rude, who won a silver medal, Amy Woodruft, who won bronze, Tiffany Grieder, who also won bronze, and Tyler Mat to the tournament.
“It is an open club,” Rude said. “If you are taking classes here, or at M-State, whether you have experience or not, everybody is welcome to come and kick around with us. A large majority of our members had little or no experience before joining.”
The club meeting times are a little shaky right now, as they are being bounced around from room to room. Generally, practices are Mondays in Nemzek 208 and Wednesdays at 6:00 PM in the CMU Underground. After October 28th, the club will move exclusively to the CMU Underground. To join the club, there is a fee of $65, in addition to providing your own uniform, which is only required if you plan on competing at competitions. The protective arm gear used for training is rented out by the club, so members do not have to go out and buy their own.
Many tournament costs are paid by the university or by one of the many fundraisers that the club does throughout the year. Travel to and from the tournaments is usually provided by the university as well.
“We really have a lot of fun at practices,” Rude said. “We love to joke around with each other and we try to not be too serious all the time.”
For more information, the club has a Facebook page with pictures,meeting times and other news in the local martial arts world.