2015 White Tiger Championships Results

Small Tourney Poster(Denver, CO) – The 2015 White Tiger Championships was held at Metro State University of Denver on March 21-22, 2015 by the Korean Academy of Taekwondo. The event featured over 300 athletes from 39 schools and programs. Students earned magnetic “DO” medals that connect with the “KWON” medals from the Twin Dragons Tournament (2013/2016) and the “TAE” medals from the Lone Wolf Classic (2014/2017).

The event started Saturday afternoon with forms. In the Men’s black belt division, top honors were won by Chris Endo (Victory TKD), while second place went to Joshua Sallee (ALL TKD) and bronzes were picked up by Kyle Landon (KAT – Lakai) and Han Lang (DU Taekwondo). In the Women’s black belt division Alyssa Allen (ALL TKD) took home gold with Gail Westmoreland (APEX TKD) taking silver. Bronzes were won by Monica Ryu (KAT – Aurora) and Emma Hatfield (UNC Taekwondo).

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The tri-medals give a perfect opportunity for everyone to make at least 2 friends.

The breaking divisions were especially large and competitive. Generally in breaking competitors are either power breakers or technique breakers, but in the Men’s black belt division, both Master RJ “Taz” Tomas (KAT – Aurora) and Genewoo “Woo-Ninja” Sohn (Park’s TKD) showed an uncanny combination of the two. Tomas ended up in first after breaking several boards with a hammerfist while holding a raw egg (which he later opened and drank), breaking with a high flash kick, and powering through multiple boards with spearfingers. Sohn ended up second after breaking four large boards, 4 demo boards with high level spins, and 2 bricks. Bronzes were won by Jonathan Robinson (ALL TKD) and Laron Younger (KAT – LaKai) who finished an impressive routine with a breakdancing ‘robot’ break.

During breaking there were also a variety of team forms in the center ring, Totem Forms (Piggyback where one person does the stances and one the hand techniques), traditional pairs forms, and family forms. In a move sure to please fans of the dark side, ALL’s Team Sith edged out Team Jedi in the Musical Kids division.

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People were very excited to see Congressman Coffman!

Blaster Pad Sparring was as always, fun and intense. Master Katie Pottle remarked. “One of the most spectacular divisions was the girls 35-40 lbs blaster sparring division. I fully realize how ridiculous that last sentence sounds according to conventional martial arts wisdom. However, we also know that true “DO”  can sometimes be found in unconventional places. The gold medalist, Daisy Walsh, lost her first match. She had to fight her way through the losers bracket, eventually needing EIGHT exhausting matches.”  Daisy had just defeated a particularly aggressive form of brain cancer, which has surely given an immense reservoir of strength locked in a 37 lb body.

In the adult black belt Weapons division, Jonathan Robinson (ALL TKD) took first with some impressive bo staff skills, while Genewoo ‘Woo-Ninja” Sohn (Park’s TKD) received silver for his sword. This left last year’s champion and Indiana Jones look-alike Zak ‘The Professor’ Kirk (KAT – Metro) to settle for third with his double whip form.

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Unfortunately, no one from Littleton had any fun.

Junk Weapons was again a hit, with a record 35 competitors. This year teams could pick either a dishrag, comb, or magazine, as well as whatever came out of the ‘grab bag.’ In the black belts division Brandon and Ryan Glaze (ALL TKD) took home gold with Christopher, Jonathan and Ian’s team (ALL TKD) taking silver. Ann and John Lynn (Left Foot Taekwondo) and Leroy Young (KAT – Lakai) and Darius ‘The Emperor’ Ray (KAT – Metro) ending up with the bronzes.

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Demo Team Champions from ALL TKD

The demo team division was phenomenal, and prior to competition Congressman Mike Coffman came to address the crowd. Congressman Coffman has become a genuine friend to the martial arts community, attending several events in the last year and building real relationships with instructors and students. As a former Marine the congressman had no trouble shattering a board, which he signed and dedicated to Daisy. Master Barb Kunkel (ALL TKD), a US Olympian who was herself coming off a successful fight against cancer, gave Daisy a chocolate bunny and dedicated their team’s performance to everyone fighting the disease. All three demo teams turned in powerful, technically strong performances, yet ALL TKD’s routine was on another level. The mix of phenomenal choreography, exacting synchronization, and high level tricking looks nearly unbeatable. The team has previously taken silver and bronze at the World Hanmadang in Korea, and there is a general sense that this year they have their strongest chance for gold. United Martial Arts Centers took home the third place trophy while Family Martial Arts took home the 2nd place trophy. It was great to have the Family Martial Arts team back in competition – they had previously won the first demo team competition at Metro back in 2004. The demo teams were truly each other’s biggest fans, and there are few sports where opposing teams would cheer for each other so openly and wholeheartedly. This is just one of the things that makes martial arts so truly special.

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In a great display of sportsmanship Dominic (Merrill) refuses to stand on the medal stand because his opponent Jared (KAT – LaKai) is injured and unable to take his place on the stand. They both received their medals sitting.

 

The last event of Saturday night was the crowd-pleasing Trick Kick Battle, and again the level was raised significantly over previous years. In the teen’s division, John-John Tomas (KAT – Aurora)  btwisted and cart-fulled his way to gold, with Josh Taniguchi (ALL TKD) and Mattthew Doyon (ALL TKD) taking silver and bronze respectively.  In the adults division Master RJ ‘Taz’ Tomas (KAT – Aurora) showed amazing power and speed, back flipping from sitting to splits among other things. Kyle ‘Peaceful Thunder’ Landon (KAT – LaKai) was just 0.3 points behind, and used the adrenaline to be able to complete some new moves for the first time. Genewoo ‘Woo Ninja” Sohn (Park’s TKD) came in third followed by Chris Garcia (ALL TKD). The crowd went wild when 39 year old 290 lb Laron Younger (KAT – LaKai) landed a roundoff- backflip early in the competition.

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Great showing from Luevano’s Taekwondo.

Sunday morning saw the sport combat events. Splitting the tournament into two days was a welcome relief to many parents and students, especially the sparring competitors who didn’t have to wait around all day for their matches. As with Saturday’s events, the level of sparring was higher than in previous years. This year both red and black belts used the Daedo system, while blue and below used ringmaster. This provided a good balance of cost/experience for everyone.

In the Men’s Black Belt Lightweight division, Cole Broche (Elite Performance Taekwondo) turned in a dominant display of skill winning the gold over Jaire Fortt (KAT – Aurora). In the Middleweight division, Sir Salonis (KAT – Storm) similarly claimed gold over Alex Meier (Song’s Elite) who had to settle for silver. In the Ultra Welterweight division Daniel McCallum (Shin’s Academy) showed great skill in defeating Leroy Young (KAT – LaKai) and in the Ultra Heavyweight division Evan Wainwright (Song’s Elite) edged out Laron Younger (KAT – LaKai) for the gold.

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A competitor receives some words of wisdom from Master Nico Delgado.

Women’s black belt sparring had only one division, but it was a great one, unfortunately marred by injury. Eva Luevano (Luevano’s Taekwondo) looked great and seemed destined for gold after she took a 7-4 lead over Stephanie Linsley (Kim and Cam’s Taekwondo) with a lightning fast triple kick to the body in the second round of the semi-finals, but the technique was so powerful it aggravated a knee injury and she had to withdraw. Linsley went on to defeat Jenny Kim (KAT – CU Denver) in the finals, in a match where Kim scored 11 body shots but Linsley dominated in the head shots department. Ashley Amaro (Song’s Elite) earned the other bronze medal.

The grappling competition was once again fantastic. In the key lightweight division Fernando Rodriguez (KAT – Aurora) defeated Josh Ornelas (Compassion Road Academy) in the finals to earn gold. One of the best matches of the day was the semi-final between Rodriguez and Mason Czerpak (World Class Boxing and Martial Arts). Czerpak was fresh as he had won his first match by guillotine choke in just 11 seconds.  Rodriguez’s guard was hard to pass, but Czerpak still had the edge after the first round by a score of 10-5. However, Rodriguez executed a beautiful and patient triangle choke in the second round for the victory. The other bronze was claimed by Billy Santisteven (Compassion Road Academy). The middlewieght division came down to Sir Salonis (KAT – Storm) and Brendan Croft (The Rock) for the third time in as many years. Salonis had taken the title in 2013 and Croft had taken it back in 2014. This time Salonis looked strong throughout, securing a back mount and back choke that Croft managed to fight out of. Salonis went for omaplata and when Croft defended by arching Salonis expertly switched to a triangle choke to finish the match. Bronzes went to Andrew Lopez (KAT – Metro) and Kyle ‘Peaceful Thunder’ Landon (KAT – LaKai).  In the heavyweight division Santa Cruz Sotero (MayTec Fighting Systems) defeated Jerry Rivera (WCBMA) by arm bar. In the top women’s division Katie Hunter (KAT – LaKai) tapped out to Christina Trjillo (WCBMA) after an exciting couple of minutes.

The finals for the Colorado Elementary School League Championships was close again this year, with Crescent View Academy edging out Aurora Quest K8 21 to 20. However, the battle was anti-climactic given CVA’s nearly insurmountable lead from the fall championships. Global Village Academy finished the season in third with Merrill Middle School in 4th and Omar D Blair in 5th.

All in all it was a great event, one of the most organized, relaxing, and high level events ever in Colorado. Although only the adult black belt results are reported here, there were many epic battles among the teens, kids, and color belts as well. Legacies were claimed, tri-medals were completed, and self-doubts and fears were overcome by many.

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Click to see the full medal unlocks.

This year several businesses offered to ‘unlock’ special discounts to anyone who won a medal. The discounts are good only until Sunday March 29th.

KAT would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to all the competitors, volunteers, and referees who made the event possible. Special thanks goes to Master Bob McKenna, who flew in from California and to our Tournament Committee Members, especially Chris and Lexi Brown (Awards), Dean Leverett (Sales Table) and Christina Seraile (Registration).

Please post pictures and videos (public) in the Official Facebook Event.  See you all at the 2016 Twin Dragons Tournament!

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2nd Annual CO Martial Arts Awards Brings Out Stars

11074132_10155270971845317_4953526080766423872_n(Aurora, CO)Colorado Martial Arts News was honored to host the 2nd Annual CO Martial Arts Awards that celebrated special accomplishments from Colorado based students, instructors, and referees during 2014. The 2013 Awards were online voting only, and this was the first year the ceremony grew into a live event.

 

11020255_10155270976465317_8406022161514231716_nThis year’s event featured acceptance speeches by numerous notable recipients, including Master Barb Kunkel who spoke of her battle overcoming cancer and the success of the Fight For Life Fundraising Tournament. The speeches were as diverse as the honorees, yet there were common threads throughout. Winners were quick to point out all the people who had helped them along the way as well as recognize others who would have also been deserving of the same awards. The Kick of the Year award was voted on during the event, with Madelyn Gorman-Shore taking home the trophy for her headshot in US Open last year by just one vote.

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Madelyn Gorman-Shore receives the “Kick of the Year” award. Photo Credit Kerry Kara

A relaxed and positive vibe was felt throughout William Smith High School where the ceremony took place. Although they would be perfectly happy to kick each other in the face in the ring, the various martial artists in attendance were genuinely happy to share in the success of others.

 

 

 

 

 

11050324_10205656658229025_5728226548836244709_oThe event was organized, planned, and personally funded by Colorado Martial Arts News writer Sir Gregory Salonis.  As the event was free and open to the public, he will gratefully accept donations via Paypal at Stormtkd14@gmail.com. As the event grows into the future, the idea is to recruit sponsors and charge a nominal admissions fee to offset the cost of running such an event.

 

 

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Congratulations to all the winners!

 

The full list of winners is below:

Indomitable Spirit Award– Sab Barb Kunkel

Referee of the Year Award– Master Angela Hammil DeOliveira

Coach of the Year Award – Master Darin Carr
Poomsae of the Year Award – Nikita Karamian
Junior Male of the Year Award– Isaac Vigil
Junior Female of the Year Award– Madelyn Gorman-Shore
Senior Female of the Year AwardMaureen “Baby Face” Riordon
Cadet Male of the Year AwardJoshua Kosloski
Kick of the Year Award and voting (Madelyn G.S)

We will open up the nomination process for the 2015 Awards on or around Jan 1st 2016. For now, go out and do something epic!

You can also download the powerpoint presentation with many highlight videos of the athletes (warning: 2.6 GB)

You can also see more pictures taken by Kerry Kara (may not be available for everyone)

 

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Aurora School Celebrates 35th Anniversary

10502162_10205985258212102_513273037065205300_n(Aurora, CO) – Thirty five years is a long time in any business, let alone the martial arts business. It’s been estimated that half of all small businesses fail in the first five years, and the rate among “lifestyle” businesses like martial arts schools is likely significantly higher. The Korean Academy of Taekwondo wasn’t the first martial arts school in Aurora, CO, but it is now the oldest school that has survived.

10960024_804418932928300_3056681054694616718_oThe school celebrated 35 years with a special class from Master Ghassan Timani, the second owner of the business. He talked about conditions that were common during the opening in 1980 when the first owner, Grandmaster J.K. Chung founded the school- tile floors that became slippery when wet, no heat or AC despite the temperature outside, and cement for doing knuckle pushups. Times have changed, and the school now boasts a state of the art facility with multiple types of mats, electronic kicking pads, human shaped kicking bags, and a full multimedia system. The following video highlighted some of the events of the last 35 years.

Following the class was the 2nd annual paddleball championships, once again won by the team lead by Master Bill Pottle, the 3rd and current owner. It was a great way to end the day. The Korean Academy of Taekwondo would like to thank the thousands of students throughout the years that have enabled it to reach a milestone that few companies ever accomplish. The school has now grown into a network that will give the school the growth and resiliency that it needs to achieve another 35 successful years serving the community in Aurora and beyond.

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White Tiger Championships Returns March 21-22

(Denver, CO) – The White Tiger Championships makes it return on March 21-22, 2015. This tournament is held every three years, alternating with the Twin Dragons Tournament and the Lone Wolf Classic. Competitors who earn a medal from each event can connect them to form a ‘super-medal’. This year there are also 3D printed connectors, that can join 9 medals (3 super medals) together.

Small Tourney PosterThe event will be held on March 21 and 22 in the spacious gym at Metro State University. “Junk Weapons” will return from last year, with the stipulation that some of the weapons are revealed ahead of time. This year Demo Team will be more separate from the main event, however teams that enter will receive only one trophy instead of the connecting medals. In order to receive the medals, students must place in an individual event.

For the full packet or to sign up, see the official tournament website. The hashtag this year will be #wtc2105.

 

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Aurora Elementary Students Earn Milestone Black Belts

(Aurora, CO) – Several elementary school students from local schools earned black belts from the Korean Academy of Taekwondo’s Fall 2014 Black Belt Class. KAT has been running programs in elementary schools for several years, and this year brought milestone achievements.

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The test started with a 2 mile run

In the oldest program, Global Village Academy, two students made history by becoming the first ever second degree black belts to start at GVA. Taylor Altman and Anthony Hicks are both national medalists in forms competition. Although Anthony no longer attends GVA, he started there in the Encore program. Three more GVA students earned their first degree black belts, Joseph Von Hulongbayan, Braulio De La Oliva and Franco De La Oliva all had a great test and have been making tremendous strides in their training.

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David receiving his belt

This test also marked the first time students from Aurora Quest K8 earned their black belts. David Berg showed mental and physical toughness to complete his test and Andrew Myers was elected as one of the two test class captains. Andrew is now in high school but started training at Quest.

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A happy family.

This test also marked the first time students who began training at High Point Academy earned their black belts, with Sam and JT Axelrod making the grade. Tatiana Coleman had previously earned her belt, but she has started training before the High Point Academy program began. Instructor Kyle Landon stated: “I’m very proud of Sam and JT for being my first black belts. I can’t wait to see how they will use their skills in the future. Perhaps they will raise black belts of their own. Whatever they choose I’ll support them fully.” All in all 17 students either earned black belts or earned higher degrees of black belts.

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Sam and JT after the grueling test

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Ninja Mile Great fun, Congressman breaks board (video)

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The teens heat gets underway.

(Aurora, CO) – The first annual Ninja Mile was held on August 23rd, 2014. Themed races are growing rapidly in popularity, and now it is time for martial arts to get in on the action. As runners sped through the course, they could choose to stop at various stations and complete challenges. Those who did were rewarded with a blue ticket, which gave them a 15 second bonus on their time at the end. Stations included ninja jumps, pushups, situps, squats, and other conditioning challenges. Racers could catch a ring thrown in the air as they approached the finish line, choose to cross the regular finish line or do a flying side kick over the special finish line, and break a board at the end. Racers also received two foam ninja stars at the beginning of the race. A mysterious ninja was also on the course – hitting him resulted in another 15 second bonus.

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A rare shot of the elusive ‘bonus ninja’

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Esme clears the bonus finish line on her way to a 5th place finish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The competitors and spectators loved the event. Debbie Hostetler said “My kids loved the ninja mile!Leroy Young had planned to attend just as a spectator, but upon seeing the course decided to participate, saying “It was one of the best decisions I have made. It was alot of fun, and really gets your adrenaline going. I will be there next year!Monica Downing, the 2nd place finisher in the Women’s Division stated: “My friend and I had a blast running the ninja mile! We can’t wait to do it again next year!” To keep up with all the action, like the Official Facebook Page. 

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The race bib and foam stars were souvenirs to help athletes remember their day.

Congressman Mike Coffman also got in on the action. He visited the race and spoke with the runners about leadership, giving them details on the path to applying for entrance to one of the US Service Academies. The Congressman was challenged to break a board, and as a former Marine, had absolutely no trouble with the feat.

All competitors who finished earned a ‘ninja duckie,’ while the top five runners in each division earned medals. The winners of each division also earned $50 stipend checks.

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Top Results – Regular time (adjusted time)

Boys (10 and Under)

1. Jibril (6:04)

2. Sam 9:03 (6:48)

3. Franco 9:18 (7:33)10423767_10154452230360317_7658216305510633785_n

4. JC 9:55 (7:55)

5. Michael 11:32 (9:02)

Girls (10 and Under)

1. Camilla

2. Megan 9:31 (7:31)

3. Anna 9:38 (8:08)

4. Taylor 10:04 (8:19)

5. Mary Kate 11:29 (8:59)10603214_10154480493110317_8491456544927658292_n

Boys 11-16

1. Jake 7:20 (5:05)

2. Andrew 7:52 (5:37)

3. Andrew 7:58 (6:13)

4. David (6:28)

5. Braulio 8:34 (6:41)

Girls 11-16

1. Alana 7:57 (5:42)

2. Cate 8:27 (6:27)

3. Grace 7:56 (6:41)

4. Chloe 11:08 (9:13)

5. Esme 11:03 (9:58)

Men (17+)

1. Erin Doak 7:16 (5:16)

2. Curtis Pottle 7:04 (5:19)

3. Jack Pottle 7:12 (5:27)

4. Billy Garduno 8:39 (6:24)

5. Chris Webster 8:37 (6:37)

Women (17+)

1. Caitlin Brown 8:34 (6:34)

2. Monika Downing 10:12 (8:42)

3. Paige Dickens 11:04 (9:04)

4. Shayna Reibman 12:17 (10:02)

5. Linda Longoria 12:13 (10:13)

 

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Fight For Life Classic A Resounding Success!

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Master Kunkel with 1988 US Olympians (L to R) May Pejo-Spence (Bronze). Arlene Limas-(Gold) Han Won Lee, (Silver) . Not pictured: (Jay Warwick-Bronze,)

(Greenwood Village, CO) – The Sabumnim Barb Kunkel Fight For Life Classic drew over 300 competitors from across Colorado and several other states in what many were calling the best tournament in recent memory, if not ever. Master Steve Rosbarsky of Missoula Taekwondo Center came all the way from Montana. “It was an incredible honor to be able to have a small role, with such an accomplished group of people, to show support such an amazing person.” Indeed, there were an abundance of volunteers and high level referees (including many IRs) from around the country who came to show their support. There was certainly more of a cooperative than a competitive spirit, though that didn’t mean that the athletes were giving less than their all. If anything, people seemed to want to use this tournament to make a mark.

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6 rings allowed all 300 competitors to finish by 5 pm

There was no shortage of high level martial artists at the event, including Grandmaster Sang Lee, 9th dan and former Vice President of the World Taekwondo Federation as well as Grandmaster Bruce Harris, current CEO of USA Taekwondo. There was even a mini-reunion of the 1988 US Olympic Team. It was clear that Master Kunkel has touched the lives of many of the top Taekwondoists in the US during her career, which has seen astounding levels of productivity as both an athlete and as a school owner.

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Tournament Logo

Martial arts leaders are by definition confident people who stand up for what they believe in and aren’t afraid of confrontation. Differences of opinion are inevitable, but everyone put these aside to unite for this cause. Master Sammy Pejo of US Taekwondo Center summed it up: “What a great opportunity to support our great Taekwondo friend in her tremendous battle. It was great to see our Taekwondo family all fighting together for the same cause

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The boards didn’t fare so well in the demo competition

Master Angel Aranzamendi of A Team Taekwondo ran the holding area, no small task with the number of competitors and the number of events. He also took on a large role in organizing the event. “For over two decades Master Kunkel represented or country as an Olympian, Coach, and USAT Board member. Then cancer struck and she fought it had on. On Aug 9th she learned that many of us stand at her side with unwavering support.”

In what is likely a first for a martial arts event, a fundraising jar was passed around with the goal that if it was filled by the end, Master Kunkel would sing the refrain from “Let it go.” Despite her threats to personally spar anyone who contributed, the support was overwhelming. Despite the ferocity of the threat, people must have felt safe that it wouldn’t be carried out. You can view the video of the song as well as many other pictures and videos from the day on the ESA Website archive.

The event was a fundraiser to help Master Kunkel with her medical costs, and this was helped by several generous donations and sponsorships. Daedo Truescore donated the rental of the electronic hogus, while Vision Martial Arts also sponsored the event. The idea is that the event will continue in the future to support other worthy causes. There was great support from many schools, including Master Yosvany Taekwondo, Gonzalez Taekwondo, US Taekwondo Center (Colorado springs and Aurora) and many more.

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Sparring Action

There were many great sparring matches, board breaks, weapons routines, and demo team performances. However, there was also the sense that the results were overshadowed simply by being there. It was a great lesson in the true virtues of martial arts, and how being part of something larger can help students to grow. Current Colorado State Taekwondo Association President Master Andre Olivera of Champion Taekwondo Academy summed it up with his typical level of excitement: “This day will be remembered forever!! The best Taekwondo event that Colorado ever had!!!! I am so proud to be part of it!!

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Master Kunkel with her kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like to donate contact http://www.family-taekwondo.com/

 

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Aurora, CO Boy Becomes First American Ever to Win Cadet (12-14 year old) Taekwondo World Championships.

(Baku, Azerbaijan) – Joshua Kosloski (https://www.facebook.com/joshuakosloskitkd) came out on top of a field of 37 countries in the Flyweight Division (72.6-81.4 lbs) in the Cadet World Taekwondo Championships held July 24-26th in Baku, Azerbaijan. The tournament featured 10 weight divisions for boys and 10 for girls, and each country was allowed to enter only one athlete per division. Joshua and 19 other Americans had earned the right to represent the USA by winning the USA Taekwondo Team Trials held this past January.  Besides Joshua’s gold, the two other Americans earned Bronze medals. In total there were about 600 athletes from nearly 70 countries.

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The medalists in the flyweight division

Competitors earn a point for kicking or punching their partner in an electronic protective vest above a certain power threshold, while they earn three points for kicking their partner in the head. Spinning techniques earn an extra point. Competitors win by scoring more points over three rounds or knocking their opponents out. If a competitor is winning by at least 12 points after the 2nd round, the match is stopped by virtue of the point gap. (“Mercy Rule”)

Joshua received a bye to the round of 32 where he defeated French Polynesia 13-0 (gap) to advance to the round of 16. There he defeated Georgia 12-0 (gap) to advance to the quarterfinals. He then bested Belarus 5-3 to advance to the semi-finals vs Daniel Lo Pinto from Italy. Joshua defeated him 13-0 (gap) to advance to the finals vs Andrei Kanaev of Russia. Andrei had previously defeated Joshua in the finals of the 2014 US Open. At 1-1, it was another close, low scoring match that went past overtime, but this time Joshua won by virtue of landing more strikes that were below the power threshold to score points.

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Action in the final match vs Russia

The combined score of all the matches was 44 to 4, which is unheard of at this level,” said Master Bill Pottle, owner of the Korean Academy of Taekwondo, Joshua’s home school since 2006. “To put that in terms more familiar to Coloradans, that’s basically like having the Broncos offense and the Seahawks defense together on one team.

Master Russ Gale (Plymoth, MI), Assistant USA National Team Coach and the man in the chair for all his matches called Josh “one of the most intelligent and courageous fighters I have ever met” and said that “A good friend of mine says all the time, the world will always have gold medalists, but what the world needs most is good people. Not only has Josh won the world championship, he has also proven that nice guys don’t always finish last.

Master Arlene Limas (Stafford, VA), the first American to win an Olympic Gold Medal in Taekwondo (Seoul, 1988)  has worked with Josh in several camps and tournaments. “That kid on day one took a piece of my heart,” she said, calling Josh “an exceptional young man and athlete.”

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Team USA and coaches

Joshua cross trains with Champion Taekwondo Academy with Master Andre and ESA with Master Gallagher in Colorado and Manila Taekwondo with Master Henry Cruz in Union City, CA and Quest Taekwondo with Master Dean Vargas in Redondo Beach, CA. They were all incredibly helpful in getting him to the championship level. 

Full Results: http://www.teamusa.org/usa-taekwondo/features/2014/july/26/1st-cadet-world-championships-latest-results

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Master Barb Kunkel Fight For Life Classic

346_2014_Barb_Kunkel_LogoLittleton, CO – The Master Barb Kunkel Fight For Life Classic is coming up on August 9th, 2014. This will surely be an event to remember, as martial arts schools are coming from around the country in order to support Master Kunkel.

Master Barb Kunkel is a mother, Taekwondo Master, school owner, and USA Olympian. Her students have excelled at both Olympic Sparring and Demo Team, with the ALL Demo Team winning many state, national, and international titles. Last year she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer, and since then has been engaged in the fight of her life. 100% of the proceeds of the tournament will be used to offer financial support for this fight, and in future years other recipients will be chosen.

The nature of this tournament means that it will likely be one of the largest tournaments ever in Colorado and there should be excellent competition across all weight, age, and skill divisions.

Students are encouraged to pre-register at:  http://www.a-team-rocks.com/tournaments.html. Preregistration is ESPECIALLY important for this event as it will allow the organizers to better plan for the turnout. The tournament will certainly be big, but whether that is 500 competitors or 700, no one knows.

Most schools will also be selling fundraising tshirts with the above logo. Check with your dojang today.

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CSU Comes on Strong in Spring 2014 Rocky Mountain Collegiate League Championships

 

By Zee Nwuke
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(FT Collins, CO) Colorado State University Taekwondo hosted the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Taekwondo League Spring Tournament, on April 12th. Many schools participated in this tournament including Metropolitan State University of Denver (Auraria Campus Taekwondo) , University of Colorado Taekwondo, University of Northern Colorado and CU Denver, the Community College of Aurora, and Capella University. Competitors faced off against each other in sparring and poomsae (forms). It was a very intense tournament. Each college remained competitive the entire tournament, with CSU hanging tough with ACT throughout. “I think it was great for CSU to host a tournament. It was definitely the most competitive tournament we’ve had in our league history. Overall I think a lot of people became stronger martial artists and made a lot of friends,” said Master Bill Pottle, coach of CCA and ACT.

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Christian Jeffries (ACT) and Alan Walls (ACT) square off in the final of the Men’s A Team Varsity Flywieght division.

Many competitors from Metro did very well in their divisions. 11 students from Metro placed first in their divisions. Ivy Yang (ACT) took home a gold medal for poomsae.  “It was a little nerve racking for me since I had to compete by myself first in front of everyone, but overall it was fun. It was nice to know what it’s like to not be fully prepared, but then have everything turn out just fine,” said Ivy Yang. Ahmed Alsubaihawi, Steven Campbell, Brittany Trammel, Christian Jefferies and Howe Qiu all took first place in sparring.

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Sparring action

 

There were many very entertaining matches at the tournament. Steven Campbell of Metro had some very good matches, as well as Ahmed Alsubaihawi (ACT). Alsubaihawi continued his unbeaten streak, having never lost in RMCTL competition. They were very dominant in their matches. The most intense match of the tournament was between Sir Salonis (Capella) and Master Sean Jung (UCD) in the Men’s A Team Welterweight division. It was a very close match. The score was close throughout all three rounds. Both competitors fought very well, as the winner of the match won by a very small margin of 1 point. Sir Salonis had gained the lead early in the first round and maintained it through some of the second, but Sean Jung’s relentlessness overwhelmed Salonis as Jung took the lead in the third and last round. The final score was 7 to 6 for Jung.It was fun. It was one of the most entertaining tournaments I’ve been to. There were a lot of rivalries, but a lot of friendships as well. It wasn’t too big, but it was a good tournament,” said Christian Jeffries.

Master Cameron Weber (CSU) showed why he deserved to be league MVP, winning 2nd in forms and completing his collegiate RMCTL career without a loss in sparring. He joined fellow CSU student Brittany Hayward, who took MVP honors for the female division. Master Weber had an exciting announcement for the crowd – after graduation he is opening up KC Taekwondo, which will serve students in Parker, CO.

This year’s Rocky Mountain Collegiate Taekwondo League Spring Tournament was very exciting, with many dazzling kicks and strong punches. The league board will meet over the summer to formalize certain competition aspects as well as talk about expanding to other states in the Rocky Mountain region. The meeting will be on July 13th at the Korean Academy of Taekwondo, if other schools are interested in attending. It will definitely be something to remember.

An error in CSU’s spreadsheet caused some confusion over the official results, but it was worked out over the next few days. You can see the official results here.

Final Team Standings

1. ACT – 179

2. CSU -167

3. UNC – 29

4. CCA -25

5. CU Boulder -16

6. Capella University -11

The overall standings for the league year were 1. ACT, 2. CSU, 3. CU Boulder, 4 UNC, 5. CCA, 6. Capella. These were made by adding the spring points with the points from the Fall RMCTL Championships.

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