HYC kids shine at martial arts tournament

Martial arts instructor David Jones poses with HYC tournament participants (left to right) Simone Beard, Antoinette Bennett, Bryce Swoope, Alexus Carson and Nia Primm.

Photo by Deanna Bremer Fisher.

After months of hard work, Heights Youth Club martial arts students produced impressive results at the Millennium Invitational Martial Arts Tournament, which took place May 2 at Orange High School.

The tournament attracts competitors of all ages, from several states and various countries. Events included demonstrations in self-defense, sparring and both musical and nonmusical forms.

Competitors included Bryce Swoope, a sixth grader at Monticello Middle School; Alexus Carson and Antoinette Bennett, both third graders at Canterbury Elementary School; Simone Beard, a second grader at Fairfax Elementary School; and Nia Primm, a second grader at Canterbury Elementary School.

The kids began to sharpen their skills six months earlier, when they decided to compete in the tournament. As their instructor, it was my responsibility to prepare them for the event. They knew they would be in competition against the very best in their age groups and that there were going to be winners and losers.

With one exception, the kids placed in the top eight in each of the events they entered. Highlights included a fifth place finish in Synchronized Kata Forms for Alexus and Antoinette, a fourth place finish for Antoinette for her self-defense routine, a second place finish for Nia and her partner in Synchronized Kata, and a first place finish for Bryce and his partner Terry Wheeler in Synchronized Kata.

The HYC kids showed discipline and determination in pursuit of these results. They earned the respect of the other competitors and learned a lesson about the value and reward of hard work. This was a wonderful adventure and I could not have been more proud of my students.

David Jones holds a 4th degree black belt in Tai Shin Doh and is an instructor at the Heights Youth Club, the Cleveland Heights Recreation Center and Gesu School.

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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 11:51 AM, 05.21.2010