"To spar, the verb, means “to make the motions of boxing without landing heavy blows as a form of training," according to the Oxford American mini-dictionary.
WFWP New Jersey Chapter recently had a chance to witness an event where a lot of sparring occurred. On a beautiful but hot summer’s day in June, contestants from five dojos (training studios for martial arts), gathered at the Clifton Boys and Girls Club at 9:30am for a day of form martial arts, sparring, exhibitions, and comradery. The New Jersey Chapter wanted to support this tournament because it emphasizes good sportsmanship, patriotism, and respect for others. We helped keep score, sold refreshments in the lobby, and timed events.
Mayor James Anzaldi graced the opening session with greetings from the Clifton Community. Pastor Bob Mansour prayed for the safety and blessings of the contestants; and a member of WFWP offered a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.
The first demonstrations were for Form Martial Arts. Parents and spectators sat in the bleachers to watch their friends and children compete. Prizes were given to First, Second, and third place winners, comprised of beautiful trophies and certificates.
The sparring constituted the last section of the tournament. Contestants, geared in protective clothing, combatted each other without landing heavy blows. Three judges watched and an umpire monitored for fouls. The spectators were amazed at the agility of the contestants as they punched, pulled down, and even trapped their opponents with their feet.
Fort Lee drum performers spiced up the atmosphere with Japanese drumming. To top it off, musical martial arts performances were given as well, all to entertain the audience and show the diverse applications of the martial arts.
Because I was one of the scorers, I could sit up-front and see the demonstrations first hand. I was delighted at their enthusiasm and the sincerity of the contestants and performers. There is a real respect in martial arts which, when taught at an early age, can remain with the child for life.
Congratulations to the Clifton Tongil Moodo tournament and the winners of the various categories. We enjoyed the good sportsmanship and the display of excellent martial arts form! As WFWP, we want to encourage the youth to develop respect and consideration for all those around them, and we could witness that martial arts is a good way to educate the youth.