The first-ever Battle in the Snake Pit is being hosted in Swift Current, with martial arts enthusiasts from all over the prairies coming to take part. 

Velocity Taekwondo will be hosting this powerfully titled tournament in the Swift Current Comprehensive High School (SCCHS) gym on Saturday. The organization of a brand-new event of this magnitude took a great deal of effort, with parents, volunteers, organizers and sponsors all coming together to make this happen. The event is open to the public, and admission is $5 per person. 

the Velocity Taekwondo Owner and Instructor Jesse Hir is one of the instrumental figures in making this tournament happen.  

“This is the first time that we've held the tournament in Swift Current,” stated Hir. “We've had some spar-fests which are just a gathering of participants and we kind of just free for all that event, but this one is an organized tournament... Fight trees are organized by weight, height and age of course. Then we narrow them down even further based on their belt, which is basically if they're beginner, intermediate or advanced and such. The fight tree always varies because it depends on the number of participants in each category.” 

Taekwondo is a fighting form developed in the 1940s and 50s originating in Korea and translates to "The art of kicking and punching". The ages of competitors range anywhere from four years old to 60, with clubs coming from Medicine Hat, North Battleford, Yorkton, Regina, and Moose Jaw. 137 participants have been registered in the event so far, meaning a full day of martial arts action, from 9 a.m. to 5 in the evening. 

“For the student competitors we try to keep the kicking and punching just to the body, so the chest area,” Hir explained. “Black belts can't punch to the face, but they can kick to the head and the face. It gets quite entertaining. Definitely something people should come out and experience if they've never seen before.” 

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