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Freshmen finds taekwondo fun

Kaitlin Hermanson, Profiles Editor

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Like many other students at Shores, freshman Scott Piper enjoys spending his time outside of school by staying active through sports.

However, his activity of choice is more unique than most: a Korean form of martial arts known as taekwondo.

Piper, who is a blue belt, began the sport when he was in seventh grade.

His jump into taekwondo began when he decided to end his hockey career.

“After hockey, my parents thought I should get involved in another sport, so I started taekwondo,” Piper said. “About two months into that, I started to really enjoy it and got involved in competitions and tournaments and such.”

There are two main tournament seasons, fall and spring, with nationals occurring in the summer. Competitive divisions are determined by age, weight class, and belt.

Although only having competed for a short amount of time, Piper has performed well, competing in six tournaments where he has won five golds and a silver.

One thing Piper said he enjoys about this sport is the flexibility of his schedule.

“How often we train depends on how dedicated we want to be to the sport, so I personally train about twice a week,” Piper said.

His hard work with martial arts landed him a spot at a national competition in Richmond, Va., last summer, where he took home a first-place trophy.

“I’m pretty tall, so I did have an advantage, but there were a lot of very talented people there – thousands,” he said.

Through it all, Piper enjoys every aspect – except one.

“It’s a very fun, aggressive sport,” Piper said. “Whenever I’m competing, I’m always smiling as soon as I step on that mat. Once everyone gets into it, that’s when everything starts coming together. However, it’s never any fun being kicked in the head.”

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