Matthew Bodnaryk has been focused of late in preparing to compete at the Canadian Taekwondo Championships which were held in Laval, Que. this weekend.
Bodnaryk competed in the under-40 category of forms, where competitors are judged on how well they perform a set of prescribed taekwondo moves.
Before heading east Bodnaryk told Yorkton This Week that staying focused on the competition was not easy. He is an instructor at both the Yorkton and Canora locations of Kee’s Taekwondo, and when the instruction time is done, he has two small children at home, and a third is on the way.
“Time management is most important,” he said prior to the event, adding it’s also key to self-motivate. “It’s training when you don’t feel you want to train.”
While Bodnaryk won’t be throwing punches and kicks at an opponent, he will be judged against another competitor doing the same moves, the best score from the judges moving on.
“You want to make the judges happy, to make them score high for you,” he said.
Things looked to be going Bodnaryk’s way in Laval.
“I was doing really well. After the first set of forms I was placed in first,” he said Monday.
Then the mistake happened.
In the second set of forms Bodnaryk noted “I made a mistake that I’ve never ever done and it cost me. It was a mental error and it was first to third.”
The mistake was a biggie, and noticeable, to the point Bodnaryk said his competitors likely felt relief that he had made the error. He added it was fortunate he had such a strong first round or he might have fallen further than to the bronze position.
Going into the event wanting the gold, Bodnaryk said he is certainly disappointed and will be using that momentum as motivation over the next year.
“I’m going to train even harder to make sure it (the mistake) doesn’t happen again,” he said.
Bodnaryk did also capture silver in team forms.
In terms of taekwondo Saskatchewan is a very small place. In fact, at nationals only three competitors headed to Laval Bodnaryk, his mother Susanne Mitchell in the under-60 women’s division who finished top five, and Taya Yanke as a Junior competitor finishing top-10.
“Her (Yanke’s) division was very strong and she was the youngest in that division,” said Bodnaryk, adding next year he hopes she will be in third, fourth, or fifth, and the following year her last in the Division push for a gold medal.