Students from Sulphur Springs ATA Martial Arts amazed the crowd during the "Accept the Challenge 2009" Taekwondo tournament on March 28.
The event was generously sponsored by Fresh Start Investment Group. Sanctioned by The American Taekwondo Association, the tournament was the school's second sanctioned event since being placed in the capable hands of fourth degree black belt and co-owner Melissa Bilyeu. "We are excited to host our own tournament and we are very grateful to our sponsors for making this event happen," she said.
The tournament offered a friendly display of competitiveness and a unique opportunity for some students. "We are in the midst of hard times, economically, and many people are cutting out extra trips," Bilyeu said, "Honestly, tournaments are expensive. Apart from the entry fee, there's gas, hotel, food, etc.” She continued, “Therefore, we have many students who are unable to compete because they can't afford the expense. We decided to put on this tournament so that all of our local students could have the chance to compete."
The competition was open to all students of Sulphur Springs Martial Arts.
Sixty participants took part in several different events including traditional songahm style form demonstration and sparring matches.
A highlight of the event, and a crowd favorite, was the Xtreme Martial Arts competition in which students showcase their own free-style form or weapons routine.
Mixed with acrobatics, gymnastics and attitude, the XMA performances rounded out an already exciting display of local
martial art talent.
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