by Monica Mendoza
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Ten competitors from the Peterson Taekwondo Club kicked and punched their way through the recent regional winter tournament and came out with 14 trophies.
Club members attended the American Taekwondo Association Winter Regional Tournament Feb. 19 at Aurora High School in Aurora, Colo. More than 550 competitors, both youth and adults, faced off in the tournament.
“This was a special occasion, since the Grand Master Song Ho Lee made a special appearance with his wife,” said Klay Kerns, Peterson Taekwondo Club coach. “Each student got to meet him and he autographed many of the students’ keepsakes.”
The club has grown from about 10 regular students a year ago to about 20 regular students. In addition, several first-time competitors were sent to the tournament, including Jenna Cabell, Krystina Hagood, Dylan Haskell and Michael Molina, Mr. Kerns said.
The team has had exceptional support from the Peterson Sports and Fitness Center staff, Mr. Kerns said. The club members were able to maximize their training by adding Saturday classes in the aerobics room.
“The additional training allowed the students to hone their skills for competition and testing,” he said.
This month, the Peterson Taekwondo Club also passed another milestone when 15 students participated in advancement testing, Mr. Kerns said.
“This was the largest testing group at the gym in several years,” he said. “There are over 20 students in the class and it continues to grow.”
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art. The Peterson club is affiliated with the American Taekwondo Association, which allows the club such benefits as participating in class exchange and training with other ATA schools in the local and regional area. Members from the Peterson Taekwondo club will participate in a three-day camp in Denver in late April.
Here is how the Peterson competitors fared:
l Krystina Hagood – third place in sparring, girls 7-10 year olds, white through yellow belt
l Michael Molina – second in forms and sparring, boys 11-13 year olds, camo-blue belt
l Dylan Haskell – third in forms and sparring, boys 14-17 year olds, brown through red/black belt
l Michael Tomlinson – first in forms; second in sparring, men 17-40 year olds, camo-blue belt
l Kyra Tomlinson – awesome competitor, girls 11-13 year olds, camo-blue belt
l Connor Tomlinson – awesome competitor, boys 7-10 year olds, camo- blue belt
l Derrius Rahman – third in sparring, boys 7-10 year olds, camo-blue belt
l Joey Celestino – awesome competitor, boys 11-13 year olds, 1-3 degree black belt
l Jenna Cabell – competitor, women 17-30 year olds, 1-3 degree black belt
l Klay Kerns – first in weapons, second in forms and third in sparring, men 40-49 year olds, 1-3 degree black belt
The Peterson Taekwondo Club meets Tuesdays and Thursdays and is open to children and adults, ages 7 years and older. For more information on joining the Peterson Taekwondo club or learning about its health benefits, contact the fitness center at 556-1515.