AU to host National Collegiate Taekwondo Association Championships
Students from across the nation will compete in Bender Arena
American University will host the 43rd National Collegiate Taekwondo Association (NCTA) Championships in Bender Arena the weekend of April 6-8. AU earned the right to host the tournament after the volunteer coaches, Miyako Yerick and Masters Richard-Duane Chambers and Ryan Huang, from the AU Taekwondo Club submitted a bid on behalf of the school.
Over 600 participants from across the country are expected to compete, AU Taekwondo Club coach Ryan Huang said.
“For collegiate nationals, you do not need to be part of a team, but the majority of competitors are part of a collegiate club like the AU team,” Huang said.
The NCTA Championships include individual and team poomsae competitions and sparring competitions for every rank and weight distinction. Poomsae is form-based taekwondo where individuals or pairs perform a designated pattern of movements and are assessed by judges on accuracy and presentation. Sparring is direct competition when two individuals score points by striking each other.
The winners from each division and skill level of the NCTA Championships qualify to compete at the 2018 USA Taekwondo National Championships, according to the NCTA website. Winners in the black belt divisions, the highest level of competition, qualify for the U.S. National Collegiate Taekwondo team and earn the right to represent the U.S. in international competition.
The AU Taekwondo Club competes against schools in the Atlantic Collegiate Alliance of Taekwondo and the Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference in addition to participating in the annual NCTA Championships.
The NCTA Championships alternate from venues on the east and west coast, AU Taekwondo Club president Gwenyth Szabo said. In 2017, members from the AU Taekwondo Club traveled to the west coast to compete at the University of California, San Diego for the NCTA Championships.
Szabo said she hopes the NCTA Championships will draw in AU students to support their peers who range from beginners to experienced black belts and learn more about the competitive aspect of Taekwondo.
In addition to the NCTA Championships, Bender Arena will also host the 5th annual NCTA High School Championships, which will run concurrently to the collegiate competition. Tickets for each day of competition, April 7 and April 8, are $10 for general admission and $5 for AU students with their student IDs.