Fight For Life Classic A Resounding Success!


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.


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.


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


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.


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!!


Master Kunkel with her kids








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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 ( 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.


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.


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.”


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:

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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: 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


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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.


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.


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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CCA Defeats CU Boulder and Capella University in RMCTL Taekwondo Spring Championships

(Ft. Collins, CO) – The Community College of Aurora Taekwondo team had a strong showing in the  2014 Rocky Mountain Collegiate Taekwondo League Spring Championships, held April 12th at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins. This tournament was the second in the league year, and the final standings were created by adding the results from both tournaments together.

The first event was the poomsae event, where athletes competed by performing memorized patterns. Students were scored based on how close they came to the ideal technical standard. In the Women’s Yellow Belt division, Kristen Holz earned a BRONZE medal. In the Men’s Green Belt Division, Damien Brown earned BRONZE and in the Women’s Green Belt Division, Satya Wimbish also took BRONZE. It was good to get some points on the board, but dissappointing not to earn any golds or silvers.

In the second event, sparring, it was a much different story. Athletes try to kick and punch their opponents in order to earn points. The C team (Developmental) divisions have no head contact. Kristen pulled out a close victory against UNC in the finals to take the GOLD for Women’s C Team Heavyweight. Damien made great use of slide back roundhouse to defeat a player from Auraria Campus Taekwondo (ACT) by a comfortable margin to earn the GOLD in Men’s C Team Welterweight. Satya kept up the good work with GOLD for Women’s B team (Junior Varsity – Light head contact) Flyweight. That meant each of the students ended up with one GOLD and one BRONZE.


Satya W is one of the key members of CCA Taekwondo

Team points are awarded based on the medal and weighted based on the skill division. Because the CCA Taekwondo class is only in its third semester, they did not yet have anyone in the high point bearing A (Varsity) divisions. Still, the students were able to earn a total of 25 points, which put them ahead of CU Boulder (16) and Capella University (11). They were only 4 points shy of UNC (29). CCA is still far away from the two powerhouse teams Auraria Campus Taekwondo (169 points) and CSU (167 points) but has earned their respect. Paloma Gonzalez, ACT club president and USA Collegiate Team Alternate called CCA “A team to watch out for in the future” and Master Cameron Weber stated that “CCA had great skills and team camaraderie for a small team and were extremely courteous. We are thrilled to have them in the RMCTL.” Master Cam is the coach of CSU Taekwondo, also USA Collegiate Team Alternate, and the 2013-2014 RMCTL League MVP.

It was a surprise for CCA to defeat CU Boulder, because CU Boulder Taekwondo has a strong team and storied history, and won 2nd overall in both the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons. The CU Team was missing several of their key players, which was the main reason that the competition was close.

Master Bill Pottle, CCA Taekwondo faculty member, was safisfied with the team’s progress. “We have a long way to go, especially as far as getting some students ready for the varsity divisions. However, the students have improved tremendously over the course of the season. I want to thank the PE Department at CCA for their support in making this a for-credit class. I hope other CCA students will consider training for the Fall 2015 semester so that we can build for the future.

Other news coverage of this event will be linked here when available.

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This isn’t a normal post about tournaments or even things that are going on within Colorado. I found something while going through my facebook feed and came across something that said TFC (Team Fighting Championship), which kind of peaked my interest so I decided to watch the video and well here’s a promo of the fight: now I like the UFC and Bellator and others that you have that’s MMA but this?! If your mind started to wonder around on what this might be, let me clarify it for you. Basically it’s 2 teams of five stepping into a ring and fighting. With a title like TEAM you would think it would be like a one-on-one and whoever losses swaps out for a fresh person but no. Once the 2 individuals are done fighting, the winner just runs over and helps (either needing or not) a teammate; so there’s a possibility (and proven in the first fight) that it could be a 2-on-1 fight and even 5-on-1 fight. Oh and the best part about the whole thing is, they are supposed to follow standard mma rules. Last I checked, each organization has different rules they go by, it might not be a big difference between them but it is there. So how do you go by standard mma rules? Anyways if you want to look more into it the website is and tell me your thoughts about it.

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2013 Martial Arts Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural Colorado Martial Arts Awards. We recorded thousands of votes overall, and the public has spoken! Some categories were more competitive than others, and we look forward to growing this competition next year.

CO_MA_Awards_2013_1 CO_MA_Awards_2013_2 CO_MA_Awards_2013_3 CO_MA_Awards_2013_4 CO_MA_Awards_2013_5 CO_MA_Awards_2013_6Break_CO_MA_Awards_2013 Demo_CO_MA_Awards_2013 Weapons_CO_MA_Awards_2013

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2014 Lone Wolf Classic Results

(Denver, CO) The Lone Wolf Classic was held on March 1-2, 2014. It seems that it snows every year on the date of the annual KAT Tournament. This event was the largest yet, with over 360 competitors yielding over 730 event registrations. It was a good thing that the event was spaced out over two days. One of the highlights of the tournament was the new ‘junk weapons’ divisions, where competitors were forced to improvise self-defense scenarios out of everyday household objects. To see some examples, view videos posted on the Facebook Event Page.


Omar D. Blair students show off their hard-earned medals

Another highlight of the tournament was the addition of nicknames for many of the competitors. The tournament showed that martial arts is truly for everyone, with competitors ranging from a one year old in blaster pads to national champions in sparring.

More than 30 teams from across the state participated. Master Cliff Hong stated: “The members of APEX Taekwondo Academy in Colorado Springs had a very enjoyable event. Thanks to you and your staff for all of the hard work for putting on a large event. Looking forward to the next tournament.” Master Steve Marak of Martial Arts 4 Colorado similarly remarked “thanks all who made this event fun & exciting for my students. With the growing number of tournaments scheduled throughout the year, it has become increasingly difficult to choose which one(s) to support. Again, thank you very much. We look forward to 2015′!!


ALL’s champion demo team flies high

The demo team competition was one of the highlights this year, with 6 stellar teams competing for top honors. Master Kunkel’s ALL team took first, with USTC second and KAT/ATA third and another USTC team 4th.

This tournament was the third in the series that also contained the 2012 White Tiger Championships and the 2013 Twin Dragons Tournament. Several students who were victorious at those previous events were now able to create their own ‘super medals.’


The Glaze family shows of their completed tri-medals

The tournament also featured the final elementary schools league competition of the year. It was amazingly close between Aurora Quest Academy and Crescent View Academy, resulting in a statistical tie. Global Village Academy was third, High Point Academy was forth, and Omar D. Blair rounded out the top 5.

The Metropolitan Newspaper also ran a story on the event.


Mariam ‘Champion’ W from CVA executes a great flying side kick in the breaking competition.


Breaking competition

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As your first belt tests arrive this year rigid training and memorization become a necessity. Be sure not to cheat yourself from being the top of your class. Go to the one stop spot for all your Taekwondo studying needs! is the place to go if you need to learn new forms, study old ones, review grappling drills or even sparring techniques. The page is organized into drills and techniques, and all the drills are broken down into many different categories.

Wikidrills has been intelligently designed. It is easy to manage, with stress free navigation. Along with notes and step by step videos along with directions it will provide all the information that is essential to move forward in Taekwondo, all you need to know in order to navigate the site- your belt level.

The step by step directions and film on Wikidrills will give you the confidence you need on test day when you’re standing in front of the judges.

Don’t be lazy either, wikidrills can be used to get ahead as well, just get on wiki from home work or school and don’t forget you can use your smart phone, iPad or PC! It’s not a separate app, but all of the content is available on any screen.

With Wikidrills success within Taekwondo is inevitable if you utilize your resources properly.

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Colorado State Taekwondo Championships

(Aurora, CO) The Colorado State Taekwondo Association (COSTA) held its annual state championships on March 15th at Hinkley High School. The event served as a qualifier for the USA Taekwondo National Championships which will be held over the 4th of July weekend. The event was well attended with athletes from dozens of schools comprising 411 different Event Registrations and a total of just under 286 competitors.

Competitors faced off in the traditional events of poomsae and Olympic style sparring, as well as many other events. There was blaster pad sparring, board breaking, pairs poomsae, family forms, weapons, team weapons, creative forms, etc. Many of these events did not qualify athletes to compete in the national championships, but were fun and valuable additions to the tournament nonetheless.


Many key figures from the history of CO TKD were in attendance. From Left. Grandmaster Doug Fuechsel, Master Chae, Master Georgie Martinez Sr, and Grandmaster Rich Hodder.

1979974_10203635022185954_58210594_o 10010623_10202944185738908_2035799386_oOne of the highlights of the tournament is the annual demonstration team competition. Academy of Life and Leadership Taekwondo (ALL) once again defended their title, edging out a Universal team that put up an impressive showing featuing blindfolded acrobatics. The Universal team had changed much of their correography after going over their time limit in the Lone Wolf Classic. Although Universal’s routine seemed the more complicated and difficult, ALL’s near flawless execution and mind-boggling synchronization proved to be too much to overcome.

COSTA also awarded $250 stipend checks to the Colorado athletes who made it on USAT National Teams. Joshua Kosloski (KAT) is on the cadet team, while Isaac Vigil (MYT) and Madelyn Gorman-Shore (ROCK) are on the Jr. National Team.

The opening ceremonies also featured a moment of silence for people we have lost recently, including Chris Lopez. Mr. Lopez was a fixture in Colorado Taekwondo for several decades. There was a collection taken for Master Barb Kunkel, who is currently fighting a hard battle against breast cancer.

COSTA also awarded trophies for the top schools. Due to the nature of this qualifying tournament, the number of competitors brought correlates closely with medals won. Third place went to Santos Taekwondo, second place went to last year’s winner Champion Taekwondo Academy, and the top award went to the Korean Academy of Taekwondo, who had also won the award from 2010-2012.

There were many indivudual performances at a high level, and some of them were represented in the annual awards. The top sparring awards went to Gibran Hays (Martinez) and Tia Day  while the top forms awards went to Angela De Olivera (CTA) and Aaron Turner (Santos). Tony Genella (Martinez) won the top referee award.

Although the tournament went a bit long, it was very well organized throughout and never felt hectic. Several schools came from other states, and were heard to remark that they will be back in the future. All in all it was a great day for Colorado Taekwondo, and the state seems well poised to represent in the US National Championships.


Top awards


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