Our Karate Kids and Adult Martial Arts Students from our Tampa, Florida academy recently returned from a great ATA Taekwondo Regional Tournament held in Punta Gorda, FL. We started with a tournament judging clinic on Friday evening, which was well-attended by ATA Black Belts from across the state of Florida. Team Kowkabany from Tampa, Florida was well-represented with nine Black Belts in attendance. The following photos will give you a look at the excellent martial arts competition we experienced on Saturday, as well as some photos from the Taekwondo Tournament Judging Clinic held on Friday.Thank you to all of our Black Belts who worked so hard judging on Saturday during the tournament! Saturday’s action included some excellent point-sparring matches and technique, like this side kick from Jeni. (Developing the Side Kick of a Champion!) Samantha scores with a high speed round kick, a hallmark technique of competitve martial arts. Luke is shown performing In Wha 2, one of the martial arts forms from the Songahm style, forms which are exclusive to the schools found in the ATA, STF and WTTU organization. (Details on In Wha 2 for our High Rank Color Belts) ATA Champions start competing at young as age 3, and can continue competing through the rank of 7th Degree Black Belt! Competing builds self-confidence, self-discipline, respect, courtesy and self-control. It’s a GREAT feeling when the judge raises your hand in victory, just ask Nancy! Jeni takes the lead in Combat Weapons Sparring, a favorite competitve division for Adult Students! As with all martial arts tournaments, the efforts of hard-working, quality judges is a key to a well-organized and high-quality competition! Mr. Edgerley and Mr. Coto worked tirelessly on Saturday, in addition to placing in their respective divisions. Mr. Diza and our other Black Belt teens also got into the judging action, starting the morning by judging the Tiny Tigers (our youngest karate kids) in the first round of the day. Rane is following in the footsteps of his older brother, Unix, by winning the forms division and placing in sparring! While not able to judge yet, Rane and Alisha both helped by cheering, and Alisha even helped out with score-keeping later in the day! Great friendships and good sportsmanship are just two of the many benefits of martial arts competition! The tournament judging clinic held on Friday had a noticeable impact on the enthusiasm found among the judges on Saturday. Sr. Master Isaacs, Mr. Jesse Isaacs, Ms. Andrea Jung, and Sr. Master David Kowkabany all took part in teaching various elements of the tournament clinic. At the end of the weekend, twelve members of Team Kowkabany had competed and given their all, coming home with 21 medals (and 11 of them for First Place). Remember, no matter how you place, your Instructors are very proud of you for having the courage to compete! If you train hard to prepare and try your hardest in the ring, you will continue to improve your technique and strengthen your martial arts skills. Medals will fade and trophies will collect dust, but the self-confidence you develop and the friends that you make will last for a lifetime. Info On ATA Tournaments Coming Up!!