“We had 50 entrants to our second Rumble and each of them got to fight seven matches over just four hours. This speed would be impossible with any other electronic scoring system,” says Master Jong Hyun Yi, Headmaster of the American Tigers World Taekwondo Dojang in Westborough, Massachusetts. “You don’t need any external systems to run your Rumble with 20/20 Armor. There are no socks or computers just the vests themselves. It was really nonstop matches. It was amazing.”
Master Yi’s Rumble had 50 participants at $60 each, grossing $3000. Because the judging can be done on the video game scoring vest, Master Yi needed 80% fewer judges and he could use his blackbelts as referees.
HOW DID HE GET 350 MATCHES IN 4 HOURS?
Since three other schools were participating, they spent the first half hour of the Rumble building camaraderie and doing drills with targets. Then Master Yi explained the 20/20 Armor system and how it worked.
“The system is so easy to understand that kids just get it and know how to operate it,” says Master Yi. “The first two hours were very self-sufficient. We split the kids into divisions and they had to find their matches. I train all of my staff to be good referees. That’s a black belt requirement. They just do it like machines. Whoever is in the center is kicked out once they are done and then the next match starts.”
After those two hours they went to the brackets. The last two hours were fights in three brackets (Youth, Cadet and Junior) done by double elimination so that if they lost their first time they still had another shot.
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“WE SAW A DIFFERENT SIDE OF THE KIDS.”
Master Yi encouraged participation by using a championship belt instead of a trophy.
“I always wanted a WWF Championship belt,” chuckles Yi. “I grew up watching Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan. I didn’t know kids were still watching. The kids went nuts for it. I can’t even describe how excited people were. Everyone was shouting and cheering. Especially as we approached the final matches. We ended up seeing a different side of the kids. We actually saw some kids get much better in those four hours.”
CONNECT TO OTHER LOCAL SCHOOLS
Since Master Yi was the only school in his area that had 20/20 Armor he was able to invite other schools to participate in his Rumble. Not only did this create extra revenue for his school but gave his students a chance to become friends with kids they wouldn’t have had a chance to meet who shared their values.
“We used to love getting in the ring with our friends when I was growing up,” says Master Yi. “But I noticed my kids were reluctant to fight. 20/20 Armor gets them excited to get in the ring. My biggest goal is to teach my kids the resilience they need to survive in the real world. Nothing does that better than getting knocked down during sparring and learning how to get up again to continue the fight. My kids loved the Rumble. I can’t wait to hold my next one.”