Mid-Minnesota Tae Kwon Do School holds 11th annual tournament
After a three year tournament hiatus, Master Lolita Myers was excited to see a great turnout for an afternoon of tae kwon do competition.
WADENA – In less than an hour and 15 minutes, Master Lolita Myers and some of her students and their parents had the Wadena National Guard Armory set up for the 11th annual Mid-Minnesota Tae Kwon Do School tournament on March 18.
Kids and adults of all age groups participated in the tournament. People came from northern Minnesota, Montana, North and South Dakota and Wisconsin to showcase their skills.
“It was a great day full of fun,” said Myers” Holy cow I was tired at the end of the day. The kids had a blast. I got so many messages from other schools and other grandmasters who said, ‘Thank you, Master Lolita, for what you did for our students.’ Those are the things that make putting on the tournament worthwhile.”
Back in 2020, the tournament was shut down three days before it was set to be. As the world came to a sudden halt, Myers’ school saw an increase in people wanting to learn the Korean form of martial arts.
“Yes, and one of the blessings of COVID is that my school blossomed,” said Myers. “With everything shut down, this was the only thing that some people could do. Once people tried it, they kept coming back.”
The tournament is a chance for students to put what they have been practicing to the test in a safe environment. It’s also a chance for students to learn some life lessons along the way.
“The tournament lets them learn that if they get kicked, that it is going to hurt, but it's not the end of the world,” Myers said. “It helps them to learn how to protect themselves in real-world situations. The trophies and medals are great, but it is what they learn that is most important.”
Being 81 years old, Myers credits tae kwon do as the main reason she can do what she does today. Master Lolita is a sixth-degree black belt and is working toward becoming a seventh-degree to be given the title of grandmaster.
Myers was amazed by the parent’s support throughout the tournament. Some of the parents even got to participate with their children. She hopes that bringing the tournament back will continue to grow the tae kwon do community.