Martial arts students to compete

Five go to national competition in Fla.

CHAMPION — Five martial arts students at the Warren Martial Arts Junior Tae Kwon Do School in Champion will be competing next month at a national Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) taekwondo competition in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Brady Hatch, 9. Matthew Okonek, 7. Tyler Reiter, 10. Luke Okonek, 5. and Riley Reese, 10, all of Champion, along with their instructor Damon Warren, and parents will be heading June 28 to July 7 for the competition.

Allison Okonek, a parent and team coordinator, said the five students were successful at the AAU state competition held in Akron, all qualifying for nationals. The students competed in different age divisions and were top scorers.

“I am very proud of all of them for doing so well and advancing to nationals,” she said.

Each student needs to raise $3,000 per family so a fundraiser craft and vendor show will be noon to 5 p.m. June 22 at the studio on Folsom Street, Champion.

Damon Warren said at the national competition, each student will have to break a board and also have proper form, sparring and moves.

“The students have done well and have a lot of perseverance and determination and have worked well with the instructors. The support of the parents has been great,” Warren said.

Reiter said the practice and listening to the instructors is what has helped the students do so well.

“I look forward to the competition,” Reiter said.

Some of the students have taken part in Warren’s after-school program held at Champion Central Elementary where they have learned self-defense.

Warren said some parents are flying to Florida, while the others will be driving.



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