As the Global Pandemic of 2020 began to escalate Taekwondo schools around the world began to close their doors, indefinitely. Many Taekwondo schools made monumental changes in their delivery mechanisms, implementing online classes and alternative training programs to provide a lifeline to their student populations. While these programs were able to help individuals train during the pandemic there was no ability to practice sparring under the conditions of social distancing, and in a virtual setting. Sparring has always been the centerpiece of Taekwondo competition; it was the basis of the recognition of Taekwondo as an Olympic Medal sport. As the months dragged on, with no sparring, the Taekwondo community needed to do something to energize and re-engage its worldwide population. What would it take to accomplish this goal? The answer-the explosion of Poomsae practice and competition. Poomsae was an area of Taekwondo that has been around for centuries, but only recently became an area of Sports Competition. During the age of COVID, thanks to technology and the creativity of the world Taekwondo community, safe, virtual tournaments could be held, offering high level competition in the age of the Pandemic. From USA Taekwondo's Summer of Poomsae to the 2020 NY Open Taekwondo Virtual Championships Poomsae took center stage. In this episode Marc Zirogiannis, USAT Certified Poomsae Referee and host, talks about the emergence of Sports Poomsae during the Global Pandemic.
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