CERN Martial Arts Club - Taekwondo Section

Medals, Medals, Medals!

Saturday 24th September: 120 people from all over Switzerland traveled to Lausanne to compete in the 19th Swiss Taekwondo Poomsae Championships. Accompanied by their trainer, Pascal Norek (5th Dan Taekwondo Master), six people from the Taekwondo section of the CERN Martial Arts Club competed, through their affiliation with the “IlGi Dojang” club in Geneva. These seven came home with thirteen medals, including seven golds!


Iva Raynova and Ruben Agudo Santos on their way to winning a gold medal in the pairs competition

Taekwondo is a martial art that originated in Korea and is now practiced throughout the world. Although the most spectacular aspect of Taekwondo is its acrobatic kicks, it incorporates several activities to workout both body and mind. These include basic fitness (cardio, speed, strength, flexibility), self-defense, fighting and “poomsae”. This latter is a set of choreographed movements, the mastery of which requires the same competencies as in a real Taekwondo fight. As the practitioner becomes more and more experienced, the number and complexity of the poomsae increases. Indeed poomsae are recognized as one of the main methods of determining the level of expertise of a practitioner and competitions are held at club, national and international levels.

Back row, from left to right: Pascal Norek (Gold; Silver in pair), Elena Graverini (Silver), Barbara Storaci (Silver; Gold in pair), Dave Barney (Gold; Gold in pair), Caterina Deplano (Silver; Silver in pair)

Front row: Iva Raynova (Gold; Gold in pair), Barbara’s daughter (also a Taekwondo practitioner), Ruben Agudo Santos (Silver; Gold in pair)

Three of these competitors (Elena, Iva and Ruben) began their Taekwondo adventure at CERN and two (Iva and Ruben) have been practicing for less than a year! It is testament to the quality and enjoyment of the training at CERN that such rapid progress has been made – and you too can be part of the fun! Training is open to everyone at CERN and takes place twice per week: Monday evenings from 20:00-21:30 in the “Pump Hall” and Wednesday lunchtimes from 12:30-13:30. And you can try for free at any time! More information can be found at:


by CERN Martial Arts Club - Taekwondo Section