College Place resident Marti Phillips has been selected to be a part of Team USA for the 2017 TaeKwon Do (TKD) World Cup to be held in late October in Dublin, Ireland. Phillips is a 2017 Walla Walla University graduate with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and a bachelor of arts degree in music.
Two years ago, Phillips discovered that the 2017 TKD World Cup would be held in Ireland. This motivated her to set high goals so that she could travel and compete internationally. In December 2016, she earned a black belt and from there she had four months to learn new patterns and routines to compete for a spot on the USA team. At competitions held in Hood River, Oregon, and San Jose, California, Phillips placed first in the patterns competition for 1 Dan Females and earned a spot on the USA team. “I’m over the world about it!” she says.
TaeKwon Do is a martial art that focuses on physics and the application of scientific methods to create the most effective power in patterns. Unlike the Chinese Kung Fu, which was founded in the fifth century BCE, and the Japanese Karate, which was established in the late 1800s, TaeKwon Do is a relatively recent invention created by Korean General Choi Hong Hi in the 1950s. Today, TKD schools teach not only how to defend oneself, but also how to ultimately avoid confrontations.
While Phillips has wanted to take up a martial art since childhood, she was inspired to take up TKD four years ago after her mother enrolled in TKD classes and Phillips noticed the positive changes in her mother. Phillips began to attend classes twice a week. Initially, she signed up to learn self-defense but eventually began to enjoy doing patterns and formed an appreciation for the community of students and mentors within the TKD studio.
Phillips began training for the World Cup three years ago. Today, her training consists of attending classes four nights a week and personal practice outside the studio. Since qualifying for the World Cup, she has been able to train with professionals from all over the United States. She said she wanted to compete in the World Cup because, “I’m a competitive person to begin with, and TaeKwon Do gives me the chance to show what I’ve worked on and what I’ve accomplished. It’s a little like the martial arts version of a recital.”
Currently Phillips teaches TKD at the Centerline Martial Arts Studio in Walla Walla. After the World Cup she hopes to earn her second, third, and fourth degree black belts and continue helping others learn useful skills in self-defense.
Posted Aug. 14, 2017