Friday, November 2, 2018

October Testing, Tournament News and Schedule

October Testing

Five Stevens Taekwondo Academy students tested successfully for higher belts in October. 

The father-son duo of Brett and Blake Speetzen broke their first boards and advanced to high white belt.  Kolton Biadasz earned a yellow belt and Jerome Meredith advanced to high yellow belt. 

Brennan Kellerman earned his green belt and won the trophy for excellence in testing with his decisive board break.  

Masters Mark and Hilde Henkel and Karen Johnson judged the testing.

Tournament News

Two local martial artists excelled at the 38th Annual Mid-Wisconsin Taekwondo Championships, held in Wisconsin Rapids recently.

Red belt Joseph Tomszewski dominated the peewee division winning the first place trophy for forms, second place in sparring and second in board breaking, using a butterfly kick and a back spinning side kick to break two boards.

Blue belt Ian Shelton grabbed first place in sparring in the juniors division, with second place in board breaking.  He broke his boards with a switching high front kick and a back spinning hook kick.  Shelton also placed fourth in the forms competition.

The Park Institute sponsored the tournament, held at Mid-State Technical College, with Master John Chrystal as executive director.  The event drew 100 competitors and many spectators. 

Fall Schedule

The second fall session of the YMCA classes begins on November 6, 7 pm, in All Purpose Room.  Students are encouraged to bring friends and relatives to try out taekwondo during the first week. 

The next testing is Saturday, December 8, at 1 pm, in the all purpose room.  This testing includes black belts.  All students expecting to test should be enrolled and participating in class during this session.  Black belt candidates, please speak with Master Henkel in advance, as the application procedures have changed.. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

August 2018 Lots of news!

August Testing

A local martial artist recently earned her second degree black belt at the YMCA, and color belt students were promoted.

Alicia Rucker, 14, demonstrated the challenging keumgang form, advanced sparring and kick combinations and then used a spinning side kick to smash two boards as she earned the new rank of second degree black belt.

From the color belts testing, Marcus Studinski, red belt, earned the trophy for excellence on the same evening.
Senior masters Mark and Hilde Henkel and Karen Johnson judged the testing.

 Class Changes

As of Tuesday, August 28, the taekwondo classes will move to the All Purpose Room on the south end of the YMCA.  This location is quieter, does not compete with the basketball folks for space and has bathrooms right across the hallway.  The YMCA is arranging for the hanging bag mounting to be moved as soon as possible.

The summer session II ends on September 6, with the usual one week break.  When fall session I begins on September 18, class will return to the traditional time slot.  This means class will begin at 7 pm and end at 8 pm, which is surely a benefit for the younger students during the class year.


This month, head instructors Masters  Mark and Hilde Henkel, with their sons Masters James and John tested successfully for seventh dan black belt.  Grandmaster Robert Stevens, who presided, says they are the first family to test together for that high rank.  Dr. Dwight Stevens was an honored guest at the testing.

The testing included performance of Cheonkwon and Jitae forms, board breaking and each candidate wrote papers on teaching techniques.  James and John Henkel also sparred vigorously.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

April 2018 Testing and News

Hultman earns black belt

Benjamin Hultman successfully completed testing for first degree black belt at the YMCA recently.  Hultman, who trains with Stevens Taekwondo Academy YMCA, demonstrated advanced kicks and sparring skills in two matches.  He cleanly snapped a board with a spinning side kick and performed koryo and four taegeuk forms in addition to answering a wide-ranging oral exam on the history, tenets, symbols of taekwondo and teaching methods.

Color belt students from both the YMCA class and Stevens Taekwondo A New Way of Life also tested successfully for higher belts in a fast-paced testing.  Michael Doerr won the trophy for testing excellence as he earned his yellow belt.

Master instructors Mark and Hilde Henkel judged the testing, assisted by senior masters Karen Johnson and Ron Locascio and master Carol Landrath.

Tournament News

Black belt Mandi (Salm) Wetzel competed  well at the AAU State Taekwondo championship in March. She won her first sparring match in 26 seconds with a KO from aspinning hook, and though second match went to her competitor, she enjoyed the tournament.


***Watch for announcement of a special evening training in May !

***New session starts on April 17, with the first week featuring "Try Taekwondo".  Those interested can attend the first two nights (April 17 & 19)  to try out the class before registering.  So tell your friends and family!

Spring session :     April 17 7:30 in YMCA gym  to
                              May 24 last class of the session

                ***No Classes May 29 and May 31***

Summer session I:  June 5  first class 7:30  YMCA gym 
                      Color belt testing June 14, 8 pm                     
                      ***No Classes July 3 & July 5***
                                Last class July 19 

               ***No Classes July 24 & July 26

Summer Session II:  first class July 31 7:30  YMCA gym

Thursday, February 15, 2018

February Color Belt Testing & Tournament News

Martial artists from the Stevens Point YMCA taekwondo class and Stevens Taekwondo A New Way of Life tested successfully for new belt ranks at the YMCA recently. 

The students all sparred, demonstrated kicks, blocks and forms, and broke a board as they advanced in rank level.  

Yellow belt Jerome Meredith was awarded the trophy for excellence in testing.

The testing was judged by head instructors Mark and Hilde Henkel and Karen Johnson, assisted by Ron Locascio.

Tournament News

A local martial artist excelled at the Badger State Winter Games in Wausau recently.

High green belt Ian Shelton won two first place gold medals in board breaking.  He topped out the high jump breaking with a six foot four inch jumping front kick, and then wowed the judges with his five board breaks using a jump spin side kick, a tornado kick, a flying side kick, a high switching front kick and a sword hand.  Shelton also earned second place in sparring at the event at Wausau West High School Field House.  

 Shelton is a student at Stevens Taekwondo A New Way of Life.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

December 10 2017 A Special Day

Nine martial artists finished up the year earning new or higher black belts in a very high energy promotion testing held at the Stevens Point YMCA recently.  

Fred Haack and Ian Jensen achieved the high rank of fifth degree black belt with their performance of the sipjin forma and demonstrations of advanced skills.  Haack explained the essential elements of successful board breaking and then proceeded to demonstrate by breaking multiple boards.  Jensen demonstrated a kali blade form and double stick fighting.  Jensen also fought two matches, against opponents of diverse techniques.

Jessica Tomaszewski, the mother- son duo of Carrie Murray and Gavin Murray, Brayden Charneski, Cabrini Brandl and Joanna Gebeau all earned full first degree black belt rank with their exhibition of skills.  The group answered an oral examination by Senior Master Mark Henkel which covered the history of taekwondo, the code and history of the hwarang warriors, school style and belt meaning. They also demonstrated kick combinations, sparring skills and koryo and four taegeuk forms.  Tomaszewski broke her board with a round house, back spinning hook kick, Carrie Murray with a back spinning side kick and Gavin Murray broke his board with a jumping back spinning side kick.  Charneski, the grandson of senior master Karen Johnson, shattered his board with a back spinning side kick.  Brandl used an inside crescent back spinning side kick to break her board and Gebeau broke with a back spinning side kick.

Ben Hultman entered the black belt ranks as a deputy black belt with his demonstration of five taegeuk forms,  sparring skills and advanced kick combinations.  Hultman smashed his board on the first attempt, using a back spinning side kick.

Three of the color belt students received trophies for excellence in testing.  Yellow belt Ben Pribel won first place, and green belt Nellie Jonjak earned second place with high red belt Isaac Bacon grabbing third place. 

This testing was judged by Grandmaster Dwight Stevens, the founder and long-time head of Stevens Taekwondo Academy, assisted by retired judge Timothy Vocke and sixth degree black belts Mark Henkel, Bill Dragolovich, Dr. Ron Locascio and Jerry Hajewski.  Master Kim Buehler directed the testing groups.

Celebration Gathering to Honor Dr. Stevens

The Stevens Point Area YMCA and the students and friends of Dr. Dwight Stevens gathered following the December testing to honor the long-time taekwondo instructor as he concluded 38 years of leading Stevens Taekwondo Academy.

The event brought friends and past and present students from all over the state together in a very happy reunion.  More than 50 black belts attended, with others sending greetings and best wishes in a booklet of letters and photos. The celebration included cake, with lots of photos, laughter and hugs.
Since 1981, Stevens has taught literally thousands of martial artists, with more than 500 of them achieving black belt levels.  Under his leadership, Stevens Taekwondo Academy has provided training, fitness and discipline which has benefited the many students.  Stevens’ emphasis on respect and perseverance helps students to succeed in many areas.  The family-friendly, all-ages-welcome program has retained practitioners for many years, including the husband-wife team of senior masters Mark and Hilde Henkel, who will be continuing the program at the YMCA.

Tournament News

High green belt Ian Shelton took first place for teen boys sparring recently.  He competed in the Great Midwest Championship in Milwaukee, sponsored by J. K. Lee Tae Kwon Do.

2018 Stevens Taekwondo Academy YMCA Schedule

First Session:                                       January 2 to February 8
February 8, 7:30                                Color belt promotion testing
**No classes February 13 & 15
Second Session:                                  February 20 to April 5
**no classes March 27 & 29
April 7, 1 pm                                      Black Belt and Color Belt promotion testing, APR
**No Classes April 10 & 12
Third Session:                                       April 17 to May 24
**No Classes May 29 and 30
Fourth Session:                                   June 5 to July 19 (no classes July 3 & 5) 
            June and August testing dates to be announced at a later date