Tri-City Martial Arts sends 13 athletes to National Taekwondo Tournament
Pleasanton’s Tri-City Martial Arts (TCMA) brought together 13 athletes at the North American Sport Taekwondo Association National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas from June 23-25.
TCMA athletes have won 16 gold medals, nine silver medals, seven bronze medals and one fourth place. Athletes range in age from five to 17 and compete in Olympic bouts, point bouts, swords and forms.
TCMA had 6 qualifiers to continue the Grand Champions rounds in form. Athletes had to receive a first place finish in the forms to qualify.
For the first time in TCMA history, three students qualified for the second and final round. Amia Vasquez made the Top 10. Ruby Rubal made the Top 2. Taylor LaBauve competed in multiple rounds then faced off against another school in Texas and won the grand overall champion by performing her form, known as the name of Keumgang.
In the fight competition, TCMA had close matches and some that blew the competition away. The youngest athlete, five-year-old Evelyn Castillo, started sparring competition for TCMA winning gold. Eliana Dobbins beat her opponent 26-4 in her orange belt class. Isaiah Dobbins dominated his match with back-to-back headshots to win 57-17. Jerry Miller took part in the practice match with the best score of the day for TCMA and won 91-81.
Gene Anthony Vasquez put up his best fight yet with multiple headbutts in his sparring match. Amia Vasquez had one of the toughest matches as she battled it out one-on-one and prevailed in the dying seconds to win 43-40.
The Votion brothers, Lawrence and Levi, both came out ready to train and held their own in their second tournament. Ruby Rubal won her matches 47-37 and 23-2, beating her opponent to claim gold. Blackbelt Willie Mendez won gold battling through injury and beating two competitors by scores of 43-38 and 43-26. To complete the fight, 3rd degree black belt Taylor LaBauve faced stiff competition to finish second.
Tri-City Martial Arts takes its name from the trio of Pleasanton, Jourdanton and Poteet. It opened in 2001. Registration for TCMA is open year-round. Just call 830-569-4544 or come by TCMA at 5 p.m., Monday-Thursday, 118 S. Main Street, Pleasanton for two free introductory classes.