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PizDoff
11/08/2004 10:11am,
Karate Kids -- Martial arts competition draws young, old into showdown of strength
November 07,2004
Cari Hammerstrom
The Monitor


Nine-year-old Megan Fernandez is about 3 feet tall and has a sweet demeanor, but don’t be fooled. She can take down someone twice her size with her Judo moves. At the seventh annual Master Bob Davis University of Texas-Pan American Tae Kwon Do Karate Championships on Saturday afternoon at one of the university gymnasiums in Edinburg, Megan competed against fellow whitebelt girls — many of whom were older than she — as well as adolescent boys in what looked like a prim and proper form of wrestling.

She won first place.

"It feels great to beat someone bigger than you," she said. "It’s like you are beating a giant, a warrior out in the lands."

Megan coddled her trophy, which was almost as large as she was, for a moment after it was presented to her, and then hoisted it over her head, running to her parents, Eduardo and Soledad Fernandez.

"She loves it," Soledad said.

Megan said she has been practicing the Japanese martial art for about a year. Later in the afternoon, she hoped to do well in Tae Kwon Do, she said.

The "karate" competition featured not one, not two, but four different martial arts — Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido and Judo. Edit: Obviously!

Karate, as Master Bob Davis explained, is sometimes used as a generic term, although it is a distinct martial art of its own right.

The gym was divided into rings — hundreds of young and old Tae Kwon Do students from dojos around South Texas surrounded most of them because Tae Kwon Do is the most popular martial art form, Davis said. The remaining rings hosted the other arts. Understanding the differences between the art forms and fighting techniques readily became apparent after seeing each one being carried out in the same room simultaneously.

For example, Tai Chi is like a dance. Edit: What type of dance? There are mucho styles of dance! Make a better analogy fool. Say something original, like 'moving meditation.'

"It’s known for its fluidity and form," said UTPA senior Christina J. Quilantán, who won first place in beginners’ Tai Chi.

Quilantán said Tai Chi is a meditative selfdefense. It’s non-aggressive — developed by the Buddhist monks to defend their temples.

"We can defend our space without having to attack," she said. "I move only to get away from you." Edit: Track-fu.

Tai Chi is also used for health reasons, probably more so than for self-defense, said Quilantán’s instructor, Cecilia Davis — Master Bob Davis’ wife.

"It’s relaxing, but you do get your heart rate up," Quilantán said. That’s why it’s popular with women and the elderly.

Davis said she won first place in a Tai Chi competition recently when she was nine months pregnant. That’s how "soft " this martial art is. Edit: The only thing 'soft' is your level of competition.

On the other hand, the Tae Kwon Do-ers yelled intimidation and cut through the air using their hands as blades. The motions were swift, precise, jolting. The facial expressions in Tai Chi were solemn and peaceful. Tae Kwon Do faces were filled with fierce concentration and furrowed eyebrows.

Cecilia teaches both Tai Chi and Tae Kwon Do at UTPA and at the Bob Davis dojo in McAllen.

"They are very dissimilar," she said, adding that she changes uniforms to change her mindset when going back and forth between the two techniques.

She was dressed in her Tae Kwon Do uniform Saturday — a short white robe-like top emblazoned with a Tae Kwon Do federation’s logo, with white pants and topped off with a black belt.

Her black belt had one embroidered gold stripe, symbolizing her five years of hard work. Cecilia said she’s fast on her way to a second stripe, which represents a higher level of achievement. Master Bob Davis has six bars on his belt, she said, reinforcing the idea that one can always get better. Edit: Learn the correct terms please.

Achieving black belt can be likened to entering high school. You’ve mastered reading and basic arithmetic, but now, you’re back on at the bottom. Black belt equals beginning again.

"Never done learning … that’s the beautiful thing," she said.

Cecilia won second place in the adult division of Tae Kwon Do.

———

Cari Hammerstrom covers law enforcement and general assignments for The Monitor.You can reach her at (956) 683-4424.



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Comedy value at it's best!
Doesn't sound like the author stuck around to see the kid abuse millions of pine boards.

Traditional Tom
11/08/2004 11:19am,
Cecillia won second place in the adult division of Tae Kwon Do.
Second place is first place in a lonnnng line of losers, good for her.

Admittedly, the little wee-one who beat the crap out of other people was kinda cool, and then the article had to bring WTF TKD into it...