Naperville area students from American Martial Arts Academy (AMAA) brought home 25 gold medals after a weekend of competition.
The winning started on March 10 at the JS Open in Elgin and continued on March 11 at the Illinois State Championship / National Qualifiers in Vernon Hills. Students of all ages and ranks from martial arts schools located in Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana competed in Traditions Forms, Pair Poomsae, and Olympic Style Sparring events.
On the first day of competition AMAA brought 19 competitors. Nine students took home gold medals, eight in traditional form and one in sparring. A temporary addition to the AMAA team was student Kyu Bok Jo (Kevin Jo) from Korea. Jo became the JS Open Grand Champion by defeating all of the division winners.
On the second day, 16 participants from AMAA traveled to Vernon Hills for the Illinois State Qualifier. This competition is the qualifier for Nationals in Dallas, Texas and brings out the best competitors from Illinois and the surrounding areas. Twelve gold medals were won, seven in form and five in sparring. American Martial Arts Academy won a total of 25 gold, 21 silver, and 14 bronze medals, turning it into a very eventful weekend.
AMAA’s trainer is fifth-degree Black Belt Master Jae Hyeon Jeon, a former international competitor and coach of the University of Californian at Berkley’s Taekwondo Team.
“It’s not about the medals these children take home. I would rather them take this experience of high level competition and sportsmanship with them,” wrote Jeon.
Congratulations to participants at the JS Open, Neel Bagde, Neha Bagde, Yash Bandla, Ben Blowers, Iresh Damaraju, Austin Daniels, Rishya Gutti, Addison Hagerman, Austin Hearnsberger, Kyu Bok Jo, Orianna Meredith, Skylar Meredith, Siddharth Nandy, Ruhika Nandy, Victoria Nazario, Christian Nunez, Kaleb Sutton, Sarah Vuong, Joshua Whiteurst.
Congratulations to articipants at the Illinois State Qualifier, Lillian Brister, Haley Carr, Michael Carr, Logan Devick, Varin Gupta, Vishesh Gupta, Darsh Kapadia, Niyati Kapadia, Kailin Perez, Kyle Perez, Nick Perna, Luke Suman, Alex Valdez, Angel Valdez, Bernie Wang, and Jacob Wissinger.
For more information, visit www.amaa-usa.com/Naperville.com l or call the studio at (630) 369-8879.
Photos courtesy of Jae Hyeon Jeon