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After Taiga hit puberty, he grew quickly and put on a lot of muscle. He had been doing Tae Kwon Do since he was 4 years old, but now he was unstoppable! He won every match in his home state, Montana, and continued on to national competitions.
Only the best athletes from each state compete on the national level, so the matches were much more intense. Taiga’s special move was a “fast kick jab” with his left leg, and a “double kick”. Hya-Hyaa!
He made it all the way to the final championship, and got second place! Taiga had beat the first place winner recently, so he realized that he was very close to being the #1 Tae Kwon Do athlete in all of America.
In order to compete on the national level, he had to do very hard training. While his classmates were enjoying their free time, Taiga always had to run, do muscle training such as “cross-fit”, practice his technique, and do sparring. Montana is in the mountains, so it is high above sea-level. Taiga thinks this helped make his lungs stronger, and gave him an advantage.
He wanted to be the best, so he continued this hard training for years. However, training so hard and competing in tournaments almost every week was exhausting, and he realized he was missing out on having a regular life like his friends.
Before his last national competition, he decided that he would go for the gold! It was now or never. If he won the tournament he would shoot for the 2016 olympics. He did well, but did not make it to the finals.
After that he decided to focus on studying, and he was happy to enjoy a more normal life with time to go skiing, and party with his friends. Perhaps he could have become an Olympic athlete, but he does not regret his decision.
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(Intermediate / Advanced)