By Steve Blakeley: Eastern New Mexico Taekwon-Do
Black belts from Eastern New Mexico Taekwon-Do spent part of last week in Philadelphia, Pa., qualifying for the International Taekwon-Do World Championships.
This is the equivalent of qualifying for the Olympic games of most sports.
On April 24, Master Steve Blakeley, 7th Degree senior instructor of Eastern New Mexico Taekwon-Do, took five black belts to Philadelphia to qualify to compete at the world level in Cheongju, South Korea.
To qualify, a black belt must earn a gold, silver, or bronze medal in their events against black belts from across the United States.
Audra Brown, 3rd Degree, of Portales, earned a gold medal in breaking and a silver medal in sparring.
Joshua Bullard, 3rd Degree, of Tucumcari, earned a silver medal in sparring.
Keane Brown, 2nd Degree, of Portales, earned a bronze medal in sparring.
Marv Lutnesky, 2nd Degree, of Portales, earned a gold medal in patterns and Joshua Tredway, 1st Degree, of Clovis, earned a gold medal in sparring.
Not only will these five be competing in individual events, but two will be competing with the 21 person USA Team in team events.
Brown will be competing with the women’s team in sparring and breaking and Tredway will be competing with the junior men’s team in sparring.
This is the first time ENMTKD has qualified anyone for team events. This gives them the honor of representing the U.S. against teams from all over the world.
Master Blakeley has been selected as one of the USA Team coaches and will spend the next couple of months getting his black belts ready to kick some butt.
Brown has earned two medals at previous world championships; a bronze in power breaking in Korea in 2004 and a Silver medal in patterns in England in 2007.