Last month, an American Taekwondo Association Super Regional Tournament took place in Kansas City, hosted by Eighth Degree Black Belt, Chief Master Steven Westbrook.
The event began with a workout led by a very special guest, the Grand Master of the ATA, Ninth Degree Black Belt, In Ho Lee. Close to 2,000 students competed in the tournament from all across the country. Rex Willems, Owner of the McPherson Black Belt Academy, and nine of his students competed in the tournament.
Willems, a fifth degree black belt, earned firsts in forms, sparring, combat weapons, creative weapons and xtreme weapons, as well as a second in traditional weapons.
Richard Holloway, second degree black belt, earned firsts in forms, sparring, traditional weapons and combat weapons. Ben Hopkins, second degree black belt, earned thirds in forms and Jiu Jitsu.
Aden Hultberg, Michael Martin and Kaida Schrag, all first degree black belts, earned fourths in forms and combat weapons. Montana Garrison, red belt, earned a fourth in forms. Tristin Swain, brown belt earned a second in Jiu Jitsu, a third in combat weapons and a fourth in forms. Mervyn John, purple belt, came home with thirds in sparring and combat weapons. Willems and all of his students participated in the workout with the Grand Master, including T.J. Wooderson, first degree black belt. The next regional tournament will be in February.
In the meantime, you can check out an exhibition by the McPherson Black Belt Academy during halftime of the Harlem Globetrotters performance at the Salina Bicentennial Center on Jan. 24.
Tickets can be purchased through Willems by calling 241-2625.