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THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

Sophomore dedicated to excelling in taekwondo, attends national championship

Sophomore+Tejas+Maraliga+is+a+black+belt+in+taekwondo+and+has+been+training+since+age+four.
Sophomore Tejas Maraliga is a black belt in taekwondo and has been training since age four.

Sophomore Tejas Maraliga is a black belt in taekwondo and has been training since age four.

Submitted Tejas Maraliga

Submitted Tejas Maraliga

Sophomore Tejas Maraliga is a black belt in taekwondo and has been training since age four.

Katherine Yang, Assistant News Editor

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Even with a third degree black belt in taekwondo and having participated in a national championship, sophomore Tejas Maraliga has big goals for his future in the sport.

Maraliga believes the traditional Korean sport is often misunderstood by his peers.

“A lot of people think it’s just kicking and punching and that it’s not really a sport, but it’s in the Olympics,” Maraliga said. “There are many sides to it.”

Maraliga began taking lessons at age four. In a 2015 state competition, Maraliga won bronze in sparring, and his team won gold for poomsae, which are forms that students learn for technique and accuracy. Recently, he competed in the 2017 USA Taekwondo National Championship, a competition for black belts only.

Currently, Maraliga practices four times per week, sparring and performing forms.

According to Maraliga, themost difficult part of competitions is not his skill, but his mentality, the character building and spiritual side of taekwondo.

“Almost every [competition], I let my nerves get to me, so I tense up and I don’t perform as well,” Maraliga said.

Maraliga is determined to improve on his weaknesses by  using the perseverance and confidence he has gained from doing taekwondo. He believes that taekwondo is a way of life that teaches character.

“[It taught me] perseverance, integrity, self control and discipline,” Maraliga said.

Sophomore Colin Kerrigan participated in taekwondo with Maraliga for six years and believes that Maraliga helped push him to do better.

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Sophomore dedicated to excelling in taekwondo, attends national championship