Monday, August 22, 2016

August Testing and news

Black belts with Dr. Stevens
Julianna Ayres, Gavin Murray, Jan Miller

Stevens Taekwondo Academy held a short, snappy summer testing recently at the Stevens Point YMCA where four young people earned or advanced their black belt rank.

Dalton Cevan and Daniel Roach moved up to second degree black belt by demonstrating sparring skills, the challenging keumgang form and kick combinations.  Cevan broke his two-inch board with a working step back spinning side kick, while Roach used a back spinning side kick to snap two one-inch boards.

Macey Cevan was awarded first degree black belt upon her cleanly snapping a board with a back spinning side kick and demonstration of koryo, four taegeuk forms and sparring.  There was also an oral exam on taekwondo history and knowledge.

Krishov Sreetith earned his deputy black belt by performing five taegeuk forms, demonstrating kick combinations and sparring and then cracking his board with a back spinning side kick.

Three trophies were awarded for excellence in color belt testing.  High white belt Jan Miller achieved first place, high blue belt Gavin Murray earned second and high white belt Julianna Ayres took home third place.

Master instructor Dr. Dwight Stevens judged the testing, assisted by senior master Mark Henkel, senior master Dr. Matt Ford, visiting from Cincinnati, and Michael Bikowski, master instructor at North Star Taekwondo, Wausau.  Master Kim Buehler directed the testing. 

Scheduling News:  

The summer session for the YMCA classes ends September 1.  
Classes for August 30 and September 1 will be held in the APR due to gym floor refinishing. 

Fall Session 1 will begin at 7:30 on September 13.  This new time is to allow for a new program at the YMCA  watch for updates on the schedule here.  

The beginning of this session will also feature a "Try Taekwondo " period.  Bring friends or family interested, to try taekwondo for the first two night of the session (September 13 and 15) free.  Once they try it, and like it,  they can enroll for the remainder of the session.

Friday, June 17, 2016

June Testing and School News

Anika Brandl, Dr. Stevens

Vigas, Cowart, Buehler

Smashing boards and snapping out kicks, Stevens Taekwondo Academy students took no vacation from their training, and demonstrated their skills clearly at the belt promotion testing held Sunday at the Stevens Point YMCA.

Anika Brandl cleanly broke two one-inch boards with a spinning side kick as she earned her second degree black belt.  Brandl also sparred, performed the exacting keumgang form and demonstrated advanced kicking and balance skills.

Three color  belt students earned trophies for excellence in testing. High yellow belt Katherine Buehler won first, red belt Ethan Cowart earned second and yellow belt Vivian Vigas earned third place.

The testing was judged by master instructor Dwight Stevens assisted by senior master Mark Henkel.  Master Kim Buehler was director of testing.

School News

*** The YMCA class and several masters celebrated Dr. Stevens birthday last month with cake and good wishes.***

Anika Brandl's power break
***Master Kim Buehler taught mini-classes at
 Kennedy School in Junction City in May ***

***In early June black belt Jason Bethke lost his fight against cancer at the age of 40.  He had earned his black belt in 1989.*** 

***Master Peter and Nicci Shave have moved from Stevens Point for a great opportunity in Nashville Tennessee.   They are much missed at workouts, especially young Oliver and Conner, but they will bloom where they are (trans)planted.***

***One night recently showed so well the family foundation of Stevens Taekwondo Academy.  During sparring practice, one ring held black belt Brian Burns, sparring his young son Sean and Katherine Buehler, the daughter of masters Justin and Kim Buehler.  Kim was referring the match.  Then another person entered the gym:  Jon Locascio, the youngest of senior master Ron Locascio's three black belt sons.  Jon was home on leave from the army, and wanted to  pay his respects to Dr. Stevens.  The taekwondo connection is strongest in the families who train together, but beneficial for all.***

*** Summer Schedule for YMCA Classes***

Summer Session I runs through July 14
***NO Classes July 19 and 21***
Summer Session II begins July 26
August 14 Belt Promotion Testing 12:30 p.m.
September 1 last class of session
***NO Classes September 6 and 8***
Fall Session I begins September 13

Please register prior to first class to avoid confusion. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

April 2016 Testing

Clohan, Salm, Bunn Dr. Stevens

Sharp board breaking, intense forms and enthusiastic sparring  highlighted martial arts skills in spring promotion testing at the Stevens Point YMCA recently.  Two dozen Stevens Taekwondo Academy students earned higher belts, including three at black belt levels.

John Paul Bunn achieved third poom black belt as he demonstrated the taebek form, sparring skills and advanced kick combinations.  Bunn used a back spinning hook kick for his speed break.

Amanda Salm earned full first degree black belt status in extensive testing which included sparring and advanced kick combinations and performance of koryo and four taebek forms.  She was sponsored for black belt by senior master Mark Henkel.  Salm answered a wide range of questions covering the history, terminology, symbolism, tenets and olympic connections of taekwondo, and smashed her board with a spinning hook speed break.

Thomas Clohan gained deputy black belt rank with his demonstration of five taebek forms, kick combinations and sparring.  Clohan shattered his board using a roundhouse back spinning side kick.

Linzmeier, Shelton, Alkaswari
From the color belt ranks, green belt Jillena Linzmeier won a first place trophy, high yellow Ian Shelton earned second place and young high yellow belt Ahmed Alkaswari was awarded third place. 

The testing was judged by master instructor Dwight Stevens, assisted by senior masters Mark Henkel, Bill Dragolovich, Ron Locascio and Jerry Hajewski of Milwaukee.

Hajewski, Dragolovich, Dr. Stevens Henkel, Locascio
Scheduling Reminder:

Spring II session at the YMCA begins April 19th---please register in advance!
The session runs to May 26, Tuesday and Thursdays at 7 p.m.
**no classes May 31 and June 2**
Summer session begins June 7 with the next promotion testing June 12.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

February 2016

It was a heart-warming Valentine Day at the YMCA with many family members gathered to encourage and support taekwondo students testing their skills.  Five students achieved new or advanced black belt status.

Dr. Stevens with successful black belts
Jill Konopacky advanced to fifth degree black belt after a crisp demonstration of the sipjin form, and a triple board break, utilizing a roundhouse kick, a back spinning side kick and a palm heel.  Konopacky spoke on the Philosophy of Taekwondo, emphasizing that students learn values of honor, respect and obedience while studying “the right way to use the foot and fist.”  

“Taekwondo grows leaders,” said Konopacky, who is now the highest ranking black belt in her family, where a daughter, a brother , two nephews and a niece have all attained black belt levels.

Twin teenage brothers Reece and Griffin Peeters showed excellent skills in their performance of the keumgang form, advanced kick combinations  and in sparring matches.  Both smashed two-inch boards with a working step back spinning side kick.

Tyce Xiong, Grant Hinker, Hridat Panchal
Amanda Salm and Alex Frasch displayed convincing mastery of their taekwondo skills to earn deputy black belt rank.  The duo demonstrated five taegeuk forms, multiple kick combinations an advanced sparring skills.  Salm easily snapped a board with a spinning hook kick and Frasch broke his board on the first attempt with a back spinning sidekick.

From the color belt students, Grant Hinker, high yellow belt, won the first place trophy, high yellow belt Hridat Panchal earned second place and high green belt Tyce Xiong placed third.  

Stevens Taekwondo Academy grandmaster Dwight Stevens was assisted at the head table by senior masters Mark Henkel and Bill Dragolovich.

Scheduling Reminder:  Spring break for YMCA classes falls on March 22 and 24, with the final two weeks of the spring session following Easter.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December 2015

High flying kicks and family accomplishments highlighted the  recent testing of Stevens Taekwondo Academy students at the Stevens Point YMCA.

Six students gained new or advanced black belts.  Tanner Rogers, Chong Chang and Jacob Kujawa all achieved second degree black belts with  their performance of advanced kicks, sparring and the keumgang form.  Rogers shattered a two inch board very impressively using a flying side kick over four chairs.  Chang  and Kujawa each broke two-inch boards with  back spinning side kicks.

Daniel Roach and Anika Brandl earned full black belt status in their testing.  Both  demonstrated advanced kicks , sparring and koryo and four tae geuk forms.    Roach used a working step back spinning side kick to break his board, and Brandl executed the same kick using her non-dominant leg to break.

Nine-year-old Oliver Shave joined black belt ranks as a deputy black belt after performing kicks, sparring and five taegeuk forms.  Shave, who broke  his board with a skipping side kick, is the second generation of Shave black belts.  His parents Peter and Nikki Shave, met each other at taekwondo.
Three of the more than twenty color belt students received trophies for excellence in testing.  High yellow belt Chandler Ludke won first place, high green belt Zaid Alkasrawi grabbed second, and blue belt Samara Poirier took home the third place trophy.  Poirier is a third generation taekwondo student—her grandfather Richard Klapoetke, uncle Kevin Klapoetke and parents Mark Poirier and Karen Klapoetke-Poirier all earned black belts through Stevens Taekwondo Academy.

Master instructor Dwight Stevens was assisted in judging the testing by senior master Bill Dragolovich and master Dan Zierke.  Master Kim Buehler directed testing.

Local Students Medal at Tournament
Four taekwondo students from UW-Stevens Point brought home medals from the UW-Invitational Taekwondo Tournament in Madison  recently.
Tanner Rogers won  two bronze medals, for placing third in both forms and sparring in mens black belt division.  Red belt Mandi Salm competed in the womens black belt division and grabbed second place for sparring.  Black belt Jake Kujawa earned as bronze medal in sparring and  in his first tournament, high white belt  Roland Fuller brought back the bronze medal in forms competition.