Woo Kim Langley Taekwondo School master Gary McLaughlin said the idea for a virtual no-contact sparring match came about when he and his wife happened to view a virtual sports video produced by some baseball players, tossing the ball around.
“We saw that and thought, you know what, [it’s] a great idea to help bring everyone together,” McLaughlin told Black Press Media.
Woo Kim athletes were told to record themselves miming hitting and being hit, and the results were stitched together by Daryl Berden, one of the parents.
“Whoever took it in the teeth, we couldn’t have done it without you,” the closing credits read.
It has been well-received, with positive comments coming from all over.
“We’ve had quite a few people around the world [responding],” McLaughlin related.
In its first three days online, the video has recorded more than 1,400 views.
When the club closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it moved classes online, McLaughin explained.
“We had to learn how to use all the technology [almost instantly],” he commented.
McLaughlin expects that the school will offer a mix of online video instruction and in-person training now that Fraser Health has announced gyms may reopen, subject to certain restrictions, on Tuesday, May 19th.
“We are going to be taking a very cautious approach,” McLaughlin stressed, with social distancing and no-contact workouts.
Over the weekend, 90 club members, including all of the athletes seen in the video, were tested via videoconferencing, and they all passed.
In May of last year, the Woo Kim school was awarded the Consul Cup at the 2019 BC Korean Consul General Cup Tournament and Taekwondo Festival held at the Langley Events Centre, for bringing the most competitors to the event as their team of 51 was the biggest among the 392 competitors on hand.