Flames train with former U.S. Olympian to prep for ACAT
February 8, 2014 | Stafford, Va.
Liberty University‘s Tae Kwon Do team received feedback and instruction from 1988 U.S. Olympic gold medalist Arlene Limas and members of the current Team USA coaching staff during a training seminar Limas hosted Saturday at her PowerKix facility in Stafford, Va.
Flames Head Coach Jesse Wilson traveled with the team in preparation for its upcoming Atlantic Collegiate Alliance of Tae Kwon Do (ACAT) tournament, set for March 2 in Stafford. Two team members are also gearing up for the April 5-6 National Taekwondo Collegiate Association (NCTA) Championships in Berkeley, Calif.
Limas guided the team through some extensive agility drills designed to improve their footwork.
"Just as a boxer uses a jab to set up the stronger knockout punches and uppercuts, Tae Kwon Do (artists) use their feet in the same manner," Wilson said ." Footwork is essential in our sport. One foot jabs to set up for another kick to strike or knock out your opponent."
Limas also gave some great advice and demonstrated numerous kicking drills that require both offensive and defensive counters designed to lure an opponent in and set them up for a kick to the head.
"Most people think of Tae Kwon Do tournaments as just two people getting in and throwing a bunch of kicks," Wilson said. "This may be true for beginners, but for the experienced, it is like a game of chess. You have to observe your opponent, find his weakness, and then strike to the body or head at just the right moment."
This is just the second year that Liberty's Club Sports program has offered Tae Kwon Do and Wilson's fledling squad has already achieved some major accomplishments.
"In this short period of time, we have helped organize, form, and compete in a new league (ACAT) and we are currently ranked No. 9 in the Eastern Collegiate Tae Kwon Do Conference (ECTC), which includes more than 30 schools, including Penn State University, as well as Ivy League schools Harvard, Princeton, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology," Wilson said.
If Liberty's athletes win their divisions at the NCTA Championships, they could be selected to the International Team and be sent to compete against other collegiate teams in China.