Get to Know 2014 USAT National Poomsae Team Member Erica Linthorst

Sept. 09, 2014, 12:26 p.m. (ET)

By Anacleta Thorne (Special Submission to USA Taekwondo)

I would like you to get to know USA Taekwondo National Poomsae Team member Erica Linthorst, who’s from the female Master 4 division. She will represent Team USA at the upcoming 9th World Poomsae Taekwondo Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

I had the opportunity to talk with Linthorst recently and could feel her energy as she shared her excitement with being on the USA Taekwondo National Poomsae team. I couldn’t help but be captivated as she shared her taekwondo journey with me. I’ve captured a portion of her journey in the following timeline:

  • 1990 – Linthorst husband’s job provided them with a chance to move to Korea with their three children. She wanted to absorb as much culture as possible and found that taekwondo was offered at her children’s international school, which also happened to offer classes to both kids and adults. She went ahead and started taking classes. 
  • 1996 – She moved from Korea to Japan and, at the same time, a Korean Master encouraged her to run a program. All he said she had to do was find people that would be interested in taekwondo and teach them. Needless to say, people joined her program, and she kept it going for five years.
  • 2001 – Linthorst returned to the U.S. and continued her training.
  • 2003 – She attended a foreign instructor course in Korea; unbeknownst to her at the time, her future 2014 USA Taekwondo National Team Coach was also attending the same course.
  • 2011 – She made the USA Taekwondo National Poomsae Team. However, 10 days before leaving to compete at the 6th World Poomsae Taekwondo Championships in Vladivostok, Russia, she had a health mishap and wasn’t able to attend. She missed the tournament but, in true taekwondo spirit, she never gave up training and continued to compete.

Now, I’d like to draw your attention to Linthorst’s start in poomsae competition.

First of all, she writes blogs for the Taekwondo Times, and it was about four years ago when she got it in her head to interview Grand Master David Turgeon. She chose him because he was a USAT National Poomsae Team captain, existing team member and lived only a few hours away from her.

At the end of their initial conversation to set up the interview, Master Turgeon mentioned that he believed they’d met in 2003 at a foreign instructor course in Korea. She found an old photo and confirmed that they had trained together.

At the end of the interview Master Turgeon asked her a question. He asked, “How old are you?” Upon her response his demeanor changed, and he said, “You should compete.” Linthorst could’ve literally fallen out of her chair with that comment, as no one had ever said that to her.

She realized that during the interview he’d tapped into her competitive side and, since that time, he’s been her mentor. I could hear the energy in her voice as she noted that Master Turgeon was assigned to be her coach for the upcoming world competition in Mexico.

I also thought it was fascinating to listen to her creative nature with how she fits in her training. Linthorst travels quite a bit; on a trip to India she wanted to find out more about martial arts, so she walked into a school and asked to meet the person in charge. This led to her training with a club in India.

Also, Linthorst traveled to the West Coast for her son’s wedding and was a bit concerned about the timing, as she had to maintain her training schedule for the 2014 USAT National Championships. She called contacts to find places to train and also attended a training seminar given by Su-ji Kang. She was able to fit in her training and also attend her son’s wedding. She truly shows dedication and perseverance!

Linthorst is looking forward to representing Team USA at the 9th World Poomsae Championships in Mexico and to have the chance to meet athletes from other teams.  

The athletes self-fund themselves to travel to the World Poomsae Championships. Those interested in donating to the USAT National Poomsae Team can use the following link: https://fundly.com/usa-poomsae-team.