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The “White Tiger” attracts Nicoyans to Taekwondo

By Oliver Pérez

Black Belt Randall Blanco Chacon has been inculcating the martial art of taekwondo in Nicoyans, and enthusiasm for the sport has increased in Nicoya. 

Blanco, in his field, is called Bek Ho, which means “White Tiger.” The instructor graduated in 2000 and 2002 in Seoul, Korea, the country where taekwondo originated. 

Four years ago, he set up in Nicoya and initiated his school with 25 students. Three months later, the number dropped to eight.  According to him, that was due to values and discipline, and also because the sport is not traditional in the area. But now the academy has 50 students with ages ranging from six to 20. 

“Our goal is to consolidate more, to have more than 100 students in the future, to participate in national and international games and championships, graduate my first black belts in Nicoya and form a staff of instructors and reach out to zones where it is more difficult for them to come here,” related Blanco. 

 
   
 

In 2010, he took a student to the National Athletic Games and obtained a gold medal.  For now, though, he hasn’t been concentrating on national games but rather has sought to participate in matches in Liberia. During the last week of March, in the national gymnasium, 25 athletes from the Nicoya delegation competed in the first Yin Yang Cup international tournament, and around their necks they brought back eight gold metals, 16 silvers and one bronze. 

The Experts in this sport have corroborated the beneficial effects that the activity has and they recommend that children and youth as well as adults practice it. It aids concentration, reduces stress levels and diminishes arterial pressure. In addition, it is a very complete exercise that works all of the muscles and reinforces joints.    

Currently taekwondo is one of the best known martial arts and has become an Olympic sport, highlighting the variety of its spectacular kick techniques, which have the greatest prominence. The importance given to punch techniques depends on the style practiced and the school where one practices. In many cases, arm techniques are limited to defense instead of attack. All of this makes taekwondo a very effective martial art in standup combat and especially at large or medium distances in which those who practice it can best take advantage of the force and speed they develop in their legs.     

The taekwondo school directed by Blanco is located 100 meters south of La Anexion hospital and 50 meters west. If you want to be part of the team of white belts, seeking the black belt, enrollment costs 10,000 colones ($20) with a monthly fee of 18,000 colones ($36). For low-income students, the academy offers scholarships.  



 

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The heart wrenching final match between Nosara’s Finca Austria and Siquirreña had everyone on the edge of their seats. It was not until the sixth minute replacement and only seconds from the final whistle that Luis "Pato" Dinarte appeared to save Nosara’s team from certain defeat and devastate the Caribbeans, who couldn’t believe what they were witnessing.

 


 

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