(Denver, CO) – The Twin Dragons Tournament was held at Metro State University on April 16-17. It seemed fated, but once again it snowed. The forecast caused the addition of a new event, the best school spirit snowman contest. Fortunately, although it snowed for 40+ hours straight at the venue, the snow didn’t stick except during the earliest hours of Sunday morning. Despite the weather, almost all of the 300+ competitors managed to make it and compete successfully. The event also completed the 2015-2016 CO K8 School League Season.
Saturday featured all of the events besides sparring and grappling, and the level was high across the board, especially in the black belt divisions. In the Men’s Black Belt Forms division, Joshua Sallee (ALL) top top honors followed by Chris Endo (Victory) with John Lynn (Left Foot) and Ian Fleddermann (CU Denver) earning the bronzes. On the Women’s side Angela Olsen (ALL) took first with Summer Cannon (ALL) in second and Emma Hatfield (UNC) in third.
In board breaking, Master RJ Tomas (KAT) won with a mind-boggling routine that included 3 separate boards with spearfingers as well as a 2 board break with one finger. See the video here. Joshua Sallee (ALL) took second while Chris Garcia (ALL) and Sam Waters (ALL) finished third. On the Women’s side Angela Olsen (ALL) took gold. The boys 15-17 breaking had incorrect results. The order should have been Matthew Doyon (ALL) Gold, Janus Tomas (KAT) Silver, Jeremiah Manzanares (ALL) Bronze.
Blaster Pad sparring and Junk Weapons were once again a big hit, with students young and old alike going all out and coming up with creative martial arts uses for all sorts of everyday household objects. The team forms and group forms were amazing, with a special performance by the ALL Snapdragons, a team of women in their 40s and 50s who were amazingly skilled and synchronized.
The new Cloud Chess event featured few competitors but fierce matches, with Theo Sisson (Victory) and Master Laron Younger (LaKai) taking the Jr and Sr divisions respectively. They were unable to play for the Grand Championship, and the event will have to be scheduled for a later time.
Grandmaster Barb Kunkel’s ALL Competition Demo Team continued their domination of the main event, with a poignant and powerful Olympic themed demo. It was the 5th year in a row that they took top honors. The trick kick battle provided some fantastic aerial stunts, including several competitors landing full twisting flips and Master RJ throwing a 540 Gyro. The Trick Kick Battle is one of the most positive events, with competitors cheering loudly for their opponents, crowd noise factored into the judges’ scores, and even an impromptu kindergarten/pre-school division.
Sunday featured some great sparring and grappling matches at all levels from young beginners to top black belts. In the Men’s Black Belt Lightweight division, Augustin ‘El Tinito’ Luevano (Luevanos) dominated, bringing home the gold in one of the largest divisions. Brandon Lau (UNC) finished second with Dylan Badiga (Delgados) and Trenton Alberts (Han Lee) taking bronzes.
The Men’s Middleweight Black Belt Division was won by Bruce Mejia (Rock) with Jacob Gonzalez (Gonzalez TKD) earning second and Andrew Lopez (ACT) and Francisco Santos (Gonzalez) rounding out the podium.
The Men’s Heavyweight Division champion was Farhang Mousavizadeh (KAT) who defeated Sam Douglass (KAT).
Adult women’s black belts had a combined weight division, which was won by Eva ‘Bubbles’ Luevano (Luevanos) with Angela Olsen (ALL) in second and Katelyn Wiegand (UNC) in third.
In the adult advanced grappling divisions, Andrew Lopez (Auraria Campus Taekwondo) took gold for lightweight and Sir ‘Reaper’ Salonis (STORM) took it for heavyweight. In the women’s division, Angela Olsen (ALL) earned the top honors.
All in all the tournament was a big success, with numerous compliments and not a single complaint about the organization. Still, there is much that can and will be improved to make it an even smoother experience.
Many students won the Grand Champion ring (11 points) but the MVP of the tournament has to go to Angela Olsen (ALL) who dominated the women’s black belt divisions, winning gold in Forms, Breaking, Demo, and Grappling and silver just in sparring.
Much thanks to all the competitors, coaches, and parents who attended and we look forward to seeing you at the 2017 Lone Wolf Classic.