MIT student, Central Square coach in Bali to take on world taekwondo competition
While you’re gorging yourself on candy, having accomplished little more this week than pulling together an adequate Halloween costume, three athletes from a Central Square studio – including a full-time Massachusetts Institute of Technology student – have jetted off to Bali for an international martial arts competition.
Athletes Michelle Chen, of MIT; Carissa Fu, of Boston University; and Miyako Yerick, of the University of Texas at Austin are traveling with U.S. National Taekwondo Poomsae coach Dan Chuang – the head instructor at Central Square’s CW Taekwondo at Boston – to compete in the female under-29 team poomsae division at the World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in Bali.
The championships run from today through Sunday and include about 600 athletes from more than 60 countries, said Desirae Mix, marketing director for CW Taekwondo at Boston, a nonprofit martial arts studio operating in Central Square since 2004.
Fu, Chen and Yerick earned the honor of representing the United States by placing first at female team trials in at the U.S. National Taekwondo Championships in Chicago this past July, Mix said in a press release. They also represented the United States in August as part of the U.S. National Collegiate Taekwondo Team. All three are full-time college students.
“The athletes have been working very hard, training day in and day out to improve their techniques and balancing their training with their schoolwork. I’m very excited to see them perform on the world stage and am very proud to represent the United States as a national team coach,” Chuang said.
Taekwondo “poomsae” consists of choreographed routines that include powerful strikes, blocks and high kicks. Routines are scored much like gymnastics, with deductions given for technical errors and points awarded for presentation quality. Competitors must memorize eight routines before the championships and be prepared to perform any one of them at random on the day of competition.
The championships are prestigious, Mix said, and getting the chance to attend and compete “is a huge triumph for us.”
CW Taekwondo at Boston is at 285 Green St.