An ambitious young taekwondo student is striking her way up the levels of competition, donning double gold at nationals last month.
Training at Atlantis Taekwondo for the last three years, ten-year-old Thayna Healey recently earned her black stripe, but competed in the blue-red category at the Canadian Taekwondo National Championship in Lougueuil, Quebec June 3.
Lined up against five competitors, Thayna executed her patterns to earn gold in the age 8-10 ladies division.
Next she faced one girl in her sparring weight class, kicking her way to gold.
“It was fun,” said Thayna.
“The whole competition was fun… and I was super stoked that I got to meet new people and have fun, because competitions are not only about winning.”
Thayna said it was nice to compete against someone of her same belt-level and size, since the girls at her taekwondo level here are all older and bigger.
Her best move in sparring was executing a precise side-kick to her opponent, she said.
“I got her perfectly,” said Thayna.
“I landed a really nice side-kick to her head. It was very, very nice. They had stop the fight to make sure she was okay, but she was perfectly fine.”
The sport is light-contact, she explained, adding that they do contact each other similar to point fighting, but no excessive contact is allowed.
At age ten, Thayna made to trip to the championship in Quebec with her family, who traversed the country in a road-trip ending in Newfoundland and then circling back.
Thayna’s mom, AngieHealey, said Thayna did great in her sparring, and landed a number of axe-kicks and jumping punches that she’s been working hard on.
The championship was run by the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), an organization that Atlantis Taekwondo recently switched into due it’s larger size compared to International Ch’ang-Hon Taekwon-Do Federation (ICTF).
Angie says Atlantis coach Cody Skog inspires Thayna’s taekwondo, and he is helping her train with the goal to eventually compete in worlds.
The recent Black Belt Battles event in Terrace also sparked an extra gusto in Thayna, Angie said, noting that slicing through her patterns in the demonstrations was a thrill, as well as meeting high level martial artists.