Alliance Summer Camp

The Alliance summer camp was a success!  With a crew of seventeen, Alliance sported three adult blackbelt “counselors” and fourteen “campers,” a good turn out for our first ever Alliance summer camp.  The camp attendees spent two nights and two days on the shores of Brush Lake, where they learned about camping, trained martial arts, and cultivated fellowship.

The Alliance summer camp crew just before striking camp.

Master Devon Waldron and Ms Tammy Fairbanks are both veteran campers.  Master Waldron is also an Eagle Scout and Ms Fairbanks works for Federal Fish and Wildlife; both were happy to teach the crew some basic camp skills, getting everyone to feel comfortable enjoying the outdoors.

Training itself consisted of working a few hand-picked fighting techniques on pads, getting some sparring experience using a different rule set, and training the nunchaku weapon for coordination, timing and hand speed.

The crew also got the chance to do some team building games like “The Island” and “Human Knot,” and enjoyed free time swimming in the lake and campfire time trying to solve critical thinking puzzles.

Alliance summer camp attendees enjoying a summer afternoon on the dock.

With a successful event and good impression left with our Brush Lake hosts, Alliance may work to reprise the camp next year, to build more skills, camaraderie and memories.

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Greenquist Invitational 2017

Alliance Taekwondo fielded a large team for the 2017 Greenquist Championship Invitational.  Master Devon Waldron and ten Alliance blackbelt competitors – Tammy Fairbanks, Dale Schniebel, Kyle Sanford, Caleb Olson, Austin Hunt, Braden Fritel, Shauna Fairbanks, Eddie Lin, Cameron Lemere and Logan King – were joined by fifteen underbelt competitors.  Madison and Mason Rud, Tristian Glass, Justin and Tanner Lafavor,  Amber Mcgrath, Alex Hamilton, Kaitlyn Retzer, Jaylynn Ernst, Tatum and Reese Spadgenske, Addy and Keith Smette, Kenyon Meissel and Clark Schumacher all represented Alliance well.

Alliance took home a grand total of sixty-three awards, including sixteen first place finishes, twelve second place finishes, twenty-two third place finishes, seven fourth place honorable mention finishes and six additional non-standard contest wins.  Alliance also claimed the Jay Halvorson Memorial Breaking championship and the Masters’ Breaking championship.

The Masters’ forms division was up first, with Master Devon Waldron taking third.  In the blackbelt forms divisions, Ms Tammy Fairbanks took first with a high-precision display of Taebek while Mr Austin Hunt took second in his first competition as an adult blackbelt with a much-practiced Koryo.  In three separate junior blackbelt divisions, Mr Braden Fritel took third, Mr Eddie Lin took first, Mr Cameron Lemere took second, Ms Shauna Fairbanks took third and Mr Logan King won a fourth place honorable mention.

In underbelt forms, thirteen juniors and four adults competed.  In the advanced divisions, three adults and five juniors competed.  Mr Mason Rud and Ms Madison Rud took first and second in their division, with teammate Ms Amber Mcgrath taking third for a clean sweep.  In three separate divisions, Mr Alex Hamilton took first, Mr Justin Lafavor took second and Ms Kaitlyn Retzer took third.

In the intermediate divisions, an adult and four juniors competed.  Mr Kenyon Meissel took first place in his division.  In two separate younger divisions, Mr Keith Smette took first and Ms Addy Smette took second.  Ms Tatum Spadgenske took third in her forms division as well.

In the beginner divisions, Alliance was represented by two junior competitors.  Mr Clark Schumacher took first in his division, while Ms Reese Spagenske took third in a separate, younger forms division.

In the weapons divisions, the Alliance junior blackbelts competed, showcasing the standard Hapkido Bo Staff set; Mr Eddie Lin took second in the crowded weapons division, with teammate Mr Logan King earning a fourth place honorable mention as well.  In a massive, all ages underbelt weapons division, Mr Alex Hamilton took first with Ms Madison Rud coming in just behind him in second.

All juniors breaking and underbelt breaking was up next. In two separate junior blackbelt divisions Mr Cameron Lemere took first, Mr Eddie Lin took second, Mr Braden Fritel took third and Mr Logan King took fourth.  In the advanced divisions Ms Madison Rud took second in the adult division while brother Mason Rud came in third just behind her.  In a separate adult division, Ms Amber Mcgrath also took second.  Mr Justin Lafavor took second in his division, as did Ms Kaitlyn Retzer in her division.  In a separate division, Mr Alex Hamilton took third.  At the intermediate level, Ms Jaylynn Ernst took first an adult division, while juniors Ms Tatum Spadgenske, Addy and Keith Smette took first, second and third respectively in three separate divisions.   At the beginner level, Mr Clark Schumacher took third in his division.

In a fun set of non-standard events unique to the Greenquist Invitational, competitors participated in a belt-tying competitions, jump-rope competitions and speed kicking competitions.  Each division was large and only one award was presented to the top competitor in each category.  In belt tying, Ms Reese Spadgenske won the award for her age group.  In jump rope, Mr Eddie Lin, Mr Cameron Lemere and Mr Tristian Glass won the award in their respective divisions.  In the speed kicking competition, Ms Shauna Fairbanks won the award in the junior blackbelt division, while Ms Madison Rud claimed the award for her advanced division.

Mr Dale Schneibel cleaves six boards at once on his way to claiming his fourth Jay Halvorson Memorial Award.

In a separate breaking event, the Jay Halvorson Memorial Trophy was up for grabs to the person breaking the most stacked boards with a single knifehand strike. After winning last year for the third time, Mr Dale Schneibel of Alliance slammed through six boards without issue. After the six board round, Grandmaster Eric Greenquist gave him the opportunity to attempt an eight board strike; he didn’t break all eight, but now he has a new goal of breaking eight boards.  This is the fourth year that Mr Dale has claimed the prestigious award.

In the underbelt sparring divisions, the adults were broken into men and women.  All three Alliance ladies placed in their division, with Ms Madison Rud taking first, Ms Jaylynn Ernst taking second and Ms Amber Mcgrath taking third.  Mr Mason cleaned up his opposition to take first in the men’s division.  Mr Justin Lafavor fought three matches and went undefeated to claim first place in his advanced division.  In a tough advanced division, Mr Tristian Glass and Mr Tanner Lafavor fought fast and hard to take second and third respectively.  In two separate advanced divisions, Mr Alex Hamilton claimed third place after a tough match with a very aggressive fighter and Ms Kaitlyn Retzer claimed third despite taking a bad fall in her first match.

Mr Kenyon Meissel scores.

In the younger, less experienced divisions, Mr Clark Schumacher and Mr Kenyon Meissel were placed into the same group; in a tougher division than their last tournament appearances, they showed the results of their training and hard work, with Mr Clark Schumacher taking his matches to claim first, and Mr Kenyon Meissel taking third in a solid showing.  Ms Reese Spagenske earned a third place finish in a young division, while two other Alliance junior ladies – Ms Tatum Spagenske and Ms Addy Smette – took fourth in their brackets.

In the jr blackbelt divisions, three Alliance competitors tested their mettle.  Mr Eddie Lin carved through his opponents to take first place in his division, with teammate Mr Cameron Lemere taking third behind him.  Mr Braden Fritel was in a tough division with older students, and ended up coming away with third.  In the under eighteen blackbelt fighting divisions, Mr Austin Hunt had some good action and also claimed the third place spot.

Adult blackbelt breaking was the second to last event of the day, and consisted of two rings of black belts setting up breaking sequences of up to ten boards each.  Mr Caleb Olson – now confined to a wheelchair after a serious accident two years ago – has been competing in breaking despite his limitations.  For the first time since his accident, he showed the true meaning of perseverance and focus, acing his breaking setup and taking first place in the adult men’s blackbelt breaking division.

A separate breaking event for Masters, in which there are no limits (within reason) to the number of boards, bricks or stations, is also unique to the Greenquist Invitational.  This year Master Devon Waldron competed, breaking six boards and eleven bricks to claim the Masters’ Breaking Champion award, reprising his win from last year.

Due to assorted scheduling conflicts, Alliance didn’t field any fighters for the over eighteen blackbelt fighting divisions this year.  The men’s championship match was a replay of last year’s title match, in which Mr Jesse Kipp challenged Master Charles Smith for the title belt; Mr Jesse Kipp was denied, allowing Master Charles Smith to retain the belt, winning the title match for the fourth year in a row.

Alliance would like to thank the Greenquist Academy for hosting the tournament and providing a wonderful environment for competition and both team and personal growth. We would also like to congratulate the entire team on all the hard work, and thank the parents, instructors and coaches who have supported them. As always, our gratitude goes out to Grandmaster Eric Greenquist for his many years of dedication and instruction, and Great Grandmaster Moo Young Yun for his tireless efforts in the promotion of Korean martial arts.

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New Alliance Jr Blackbelt

Please join us in congratulating Logan King for achieving the rank of 1st Poom.

Originally from Nebraska, Mr Logan King – “Loki” – moved to the Dakotas in 2013 and has been training since that fall; since then, Mr Logan has grown as a martial artist and put in many hours of hard work, dedication and competition.

Mr Logan King, the newest Alliance jr blackbelt.

After several months of training as a red belt, Mr Logan tested for his junior blackbelt on the 4th of March, 2017 at 10:30 AM.  The difficult exam lasted an hour and a half; Mr Logan demonstrated positivity, perseverance, a wealth of knowledge and a high degree of technical proficiency, and performed upwards of fifteen breaking and candle techniques.

Testing for a blackbelt rank is a privilege and an honor; only 2% of people who start training in martial arts make it to blackbelt.  It requires years of practice and dedication, and comes only after a student has accepted and done well with added responsibility, and has the recommendation of their instructors and Masters.

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Alliance Taekwondo Master Earns Hapkido Master Degree

On Saturday, February 25th, Alliance general director Master Devon Waldron passed the exam for 4th degree Master in Hapkido.  An honor and a privilege, the rank of Master allows the instructor to run exams and certify students through blackbelt rank, and earns the Master’s school certification as an official Cchung-Ryoung Hapkido training hall.

Master Devon Waldron already holds a 4th degree Master rank in Taekwondo, as well as being an authorized and ranked instructor in the Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw system.  Now he adds 4th degree in Hapkido – a Korean martial art descended from techniques taught to dynastic royalty, which he has been studying for 18 years – to his credentials.  Just as with Taekwondo, the rank of 4th Dan Master is one of the most significant, because it represents years of study and dedication, and when achieved confers a host of responsibilities and privileges upon the recipient.  A Master degree in martial arts is analogous with an academic Master degree in that the holder of such a degree is considered to be highly knowledgeable and proficient in the subject area, and has put a lot of time and effort into achieving the degree.

Please join us in congratulating Alliance Taekwondo’s Master Devon Waldron on achieving his Hapkido Master degree 4th Dan!  필승

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Roughrider Invitational 2016

Alliance Taekwondo attended the 2016 Rougherider Invitational Championship on October 24th.  Alliance fielded a team twenty-two competitors strong, including blackbelts Tammy Fairbanks, Dale Schneibel and Kyle Sanford and junior blackbelts Tanner Olson, Shauna Fairbanks, Eddie Lin and Cameron Lemere; underbelt competitors included Logan King, Tristian and Tyler Glass, Justin LaFavor, Madison and Mason Rud, Andrew Burger, Kaitlyn Retzer, Alex Hamilton, Jaylynn Ernst, Keith and Addy Smette, Kenyon Meissel, Clark Schumacher and Chloe Poffenberger.

The 2016 Roughrider crew with awards

Ms Tammy Fairbanks took third in her 3rd dan division with a sharp Taebek, while Mr Kyle Sanford showed power and solidity to take first with Kumgang in his 2nd dan division.  The jr blackbelt division had some stiff competition, but the Alliance youth team stepped it up and both Shauna Fairbanks and Eddie Lin placed in separate divisions with Koryo, both taking second place.

In underbelt forms, twelve juniors and three adults competed.  In the adult divisions, Madison and Mason Rud competed in the advanced divisions, and Jaylynn Ernst competed at the intermediate level; Ms Madison Rud took home the first place trophy in her division.  In the junior divisions, advanced competitor and jr blackbelt candidate Logan King took first, while teammates Tristian Glass and Alex Hamilton took third and first respectively.  At the beginner level, Mr Kenyon Meissel took third and in a separate division Mr Clark Schumacher took first.

In underbelt weapons, Mr Logan King showcased his Hapkido bo-staff set and took first place in his division.

In breaking, junior underbelts Mr Logan King and Mr Justin LaFavor took home awards in two advanced divisions; King placed first, while in a separate division LaFavor took third.  In an advanced underbelt division, Madison Rud took second.

In the always competitive jr blackbelt divisions, Mr Tanner Olson delivered solid strikes to win second, while in a younger division Mr Eddie Lin broke his way to third.  In the adult blackbelt divisions, Mr Dale Schneibel  showcased his trademark power and ferocity to own a second place finish.

In the sparring divisions, the Alliance underbelts faced some tenacious competition.  In an older advanced division, teammates Mr Logan King and Mr Andrew Burger battled through opposite legs of the same bracket to fight each other for first place.  In a close match that went into overtime, Burger ended up earning the final point to claim first, with teammate King taking a respectable second.  In a younger advanced division, Tristian Glass fought fast and smart, and claimed second.  In the adult divisions, Ms Madison Rud fought her way to third place in an advanced women’s division, while Mr Mason Rud claimed first in an adult men’s division.

The junior blackbelt divisions were full of stiff competition, as usual.  In a big division in which three Alliance jr blackbelts competed, Mr Eddie Lin defeated his older training brother Mr Tanner Olson for a chance at the first place match; Lin ended up with second, while Olson won his match to claim third.

Blackbelt fighting was two rounds of two-minute continuous fighting and scoring per match.  In the fighting highlight of the day, Mr Kyle Sanford burned through two opponents before meeting up with training brother Mr Jesse Kipp from the Greenquist Headquarters gym.  After two more exhausting rounds in which Sanford displayed his persistence and fortitude, he was declared winner and awarded first place.

In the underbelt under 15 Grand Championship, Mr Logan King tied up with an advanced Roughrider student; King nearly won the trophy, but was edged out after a forms run-off with a split decision; even so, a notable cap to a successful day for King.

Alliance would like to thank the Roughrider Academy and Grandmaster Ted Fitzsimmons for hosting the tournament and providing these opportunities. We would also like to congratulate the entire team on all the hard work, and thank the parents, instructors and coaches who have supported them. As always, our gratitude goes out to Grandmaster Eric Greenquist for his many years of dedication and instruction, and Great Grandmaster Moo Young Yun for his tireless efforts in the promotion of Korean martial arts.

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Detroit Lakes Invitational 2016

A small crew of eight competitors from Alliance Taekwondo made the trip out to Detroit Lakes the first weekend of June to compete in the Detroit Lakes Invitational Tournament. Senior blackbelt Kyle Sanford headed up the team, with jr blackbelts Austin Hunt and Braden Fritel joined by new jr blackbelts Eddie Lin and Cameron Lemere in their first appearances at the blackbelt level.  At the underbelt level, Madison Rud, Mason Rud and Alex Hamilton tested their mettle.  Together they claimed nineteen top three placements and an honorable mention.

The 2016 Detroit Lakes crew

Three of the four Alliance junior blackbelt competitors competed in forms.  Mr Braden Fritel earned a second place with Koryo.  In a separate division, Mr Eddie Lin took second in his division despite having learned Koryo only a week before.  In a third, younger division, Mr Cameron Lemere took first place.

In underbelt forms, Ms Madison Rud took first in an advanced adult division.  Mr Mason Rud took third in an intermediate adult division.  In a youth intermediate division, Mr Alex Hamilton also competed with a form he’d only just learned and received a fourth place honorable mention.

In a handful of large breaking divisions, the Alliance competitors had some fun.  In the underbelt divisions, Ms Madison Rud competed in an adult advanced division and registered a first place performance.  Mr Alex Hamilton competed in a youth intermediate division and earned third place.  Mr Cameron Lemere took third in another division, with Mr Eddie Lin taking first.  In the adult blackbelt breaking division, Mr Kyle Sanford’s hit or miss performance earned him a third place finish.

In the weapons divisions, Mr Kyle Sanford and Mr Braden Fritel both put forth earnest efforts.  In the adult blackbelt division, Sanford’s performance of Chi Mei Quan was strong but a big error towards the end of the set cost him.  In the jr blackbelt division, Fritel performed the first half of Shepherd Staff and, despite some hesitation, took third in a large division.

In a young intermediate division, Mr Alex Hamilton fought hard against obdurate competitors; in the match for first place he was edged out in over time and came away with second place.  In the adult underbelt divisions Mason Rud battled his way through an intermediate division of six to claim first place.  In an advanced women’s division, Madison Rud had another decisive showing and, despite a dearth of calls for very clear points, still managed to come out on top and secure a first place finish.

In the jr blackbelt divisions, which were two rounds of continuous fighting per match, Mr Austin Hunt, Mr Braden Fritel, Mr Eddie Lin and Mr Cameron Lemere competed in three separate divisions.  Lin and Lemere were grouped into a tough bracket and fought intense, hot rounds.  Lin made it to the first place match, where he fought a Detroit Lakes veteran national competitor; after a single point decision in overtime, Lin was awarded second place.  Fritel also fought well in one of the most competitive jr blackbelt divisions of the year, clearing all comers until the match for first.  Facing off against Wyatt Hermanson yet again, they traded blows and points; after the dust had settled, Wyatt had taken first bringing the all time score between the two to an even three wins for each.  Hunt showcased some of his best fighting to date; relaxed but fast and accurate, he achieved his first win against longtime rival Rylee Hermanson of Roughrider to take first place.  In the adult blackbelt divisions, Mr Kyle Sanford – after a close bout that went into overtime – was relegated to the third place match, which he won.

Alliance would like to thank Master Lucas Holzhueter for hosting the tournament and providing a solid environment for competition where Alliance students experienced both team and personal growth.  We would also like to congratulate the entire team on all the hard work, and thank the parents, instructors and coaches who have supported them.  As always, our gratitude goes out to Grandmaster Eric Greenquist for his many years of dedication and instruction, and Great Grandmaster Moo Young Yun for his tireless efforts in the promotion of martial arts.

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Two New Alliance Junior Blackbelts

Please join us in congratulating Eddie Lin and Cameron Lemere for achieving the rank of 1st Poom.

Both Mr Eddie and Mr Cameron have been training at Alliance since 2012; after over three years of training each, they have undertaken the exam for their jr blackbelt.  Mr Eddie is looking forward to middle school next year, while Mr Cameron is looking forward to his last year of elementary.

Mr Eddie completed his exam for first degree jr blackbelt on May 22nd, 2016; Mr Cameron completed his only incomplete breaking technique shortly thereafter, completing his exam on the evening of June 2nd, 2016.  Blackbelt testing is demanding, requiring the candidates to be accomplished in empty-hand technique and requiring the candidates to be able to perform under pressure.  The exam took about two hours, wherein the candidates displayed nine patterns and one hundred empty hand techniques, displayed additional self defense techniques and action sequences, and performed nearly twenty breaking and candle techniques.

Testing for blackbelt ranks is a privilege and an honor; only 2% of people who start training in martial arts make it to blackbelt.  It requires years of practice and dedication, and comes only after a student has accepted and done well with added responsibility, and has the recommendation of their instructors and Masters.

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Greenquist Invitational 2016

Alliance Taekwondo fielded its largest team in seven years for the 2016 Greenquist Championship Invitational, from veteran competitors all the way down to beginner competitors at their first tournament.  Master Devon Waldron and four other Alliance blackbelt competitors – Dale Schniebel, Kyle Sanford, Caleb Olson and Logan Olson, Tanner Olson and Braden Fritel – were joined by eighteen underbelt competitors.  Eddie Lin, Cameron Lemere, Justin and Tanner Lafavor, Tristian and Tyler Glass, Madison and Mason Rud, Andrew Burger, Kaitlyn Retzer, Alex Hamilton, Jaylynn Ernst, Camden Archambeau, Muhammed Iesa Zudeen, Ben and Gavin Fryhling and Addy and Keith Smette all represented Alliance well.

Alliance took home a grand total of sixty-five awards, including nineteen first place finishes, twelve second place finishes, eighteen third place finishes, six fourth place honorable mention finishes and seven additional non-standard contest wins.  Alliance also won the Greenquist Association School Participation Spirit Award for fielding the most competitors, and also claimed the Jay Halvorson Memorial Breaking championship and the Masters’ Breaking championship.

The Greenquist 2016 Crew

The Greenquist 2016 Crew

The Masters’ forms division were first, with Master Devon Waldron taking third and Alliance alumnus Master Charles Smith taking first. Blackbelt forms followed; in separate junior blackbelt divisions, Mr Braden Fritel claimed the top spot and Mr Tanner Olson won a fourth place honorable mention.

In underbelt forms, fifteen juniors and three adults competed. In the advanced divisions, five juniors competed and placed. Mr Eddie Lin earned himself a second place finish with his training brother Cameron Lemere taking third in a separate division. In another division, Justin Lafavor took 2nd. In a fourth advanced division, Tristian Glass took second with training brother Tanner Lafavor taking third.

Alliance ladies represent!

Alliance ladies represent!

In two separate adult intermediate divisions, twins Madison and Mason Rud each took first, with training sister Jaylynn Ernst taking second. In four separate junior intermediate divisions Andrew Burger, Kaitlyn Retzer, Alex Hamilton and Camden Archambeau placed second, first, first and third respectively.

In the beginner divisions, six juniors competed in five separate divisions. In an older division, Iesa Zudeen took first place; twins Ben and Gavin Fryhling took first and second respectively in their division; siblings Addy and Keith Smette took first in their divisions; in the youngest division, Tyler Glass won a fourth place honorable mention in his first tournament appearance.

In weapons divisions, Logan Olson, Tanner Olson and Braden Fritel competed with the standard Hapkido Bo Staff set. Mr Logan Olson secured a fourth place finish in his adult blackbelt division with younger brother Tanner winning third place in the junior blackbelt division.

All juniors breaking and underbelt breaking was up next. In the junior blackbelt divisions Mr Tanner Olson and Mr Braden Fritel both took third in their respective divisions. In the advanced underbelt divisions Mr Cameron Lemere took third in his division and Mr Tanner Lafavor took third in a separate advanced division. At the intermediate level, Mr Alex Hamilton took first in his division and Ms Kaitlyn Retzer won fourth place in her division. In the beginner divisions, Ben Fryhling took first in his division with brother Gavin placing third. Ms Addy Smette took second in her division, and brother Keith took fourth in a separate division.

In a fun set of non-standard events unique to the Greenquist Invitational, competitors participated in a belt-tying competitions, jump-rope competitions and speed kicking competitions. Each division was large and only one award was presented to the top competitor in each category. In belt tying, Mr Eddie Lin claimed the award for his advanced division. In jump rope, Mr Cameron Lemere won the award for his advanced division while Ms Kaitlyn Retzer claimed the award for her intermediate division. In the speed kicking competition, Mr Tanner Olson and Mr Braden Fritel won the award in the junior blackbelt divisions for their age groups, while Mr Alex Hamilton claimed the award for his intermediate division. For jumping rope, there was even a parents’ division; one of our very own, Jessica Burger, took up the challenge and won the parent jump-rope competition.

In a separate breaking event, the Jay Halvorson Memorial Trophy was up for grabs to the person breaking the most stacked boards with a single knifehand strike. After winning last year for the second time, Mr Dale Schneibel of Alliance slammed through six boards without issue. After the six board round, he and another challenger went head to head in a seven board competition. While Schniebel only broke two of the seven boards, that was two more than the challenger and so he claimed the trophy for the third year in a row, a feat only previously accomplished by Master Devon Waldron.

Master Linda Catalano and Master Devon Waldron receive the Greenquist Association spirit award, presented to Alliance Taekwondo by the Greenquist Academy.

Master Linda Catalano and Master Devon Waldron receive the Greenquist Association spirit award, presented to Alliance Taekwondo by the Greenquist Academy.

In the underbelt sparring divisions, Mr Eddie Lin, Mr Cameron Lemere and Mr Justin Lafavor competed in two separate advanced only divisions. In the second leg of one bracket, Mr Eddie Lin and Mr Justin Lafavor fought; Lin’s tactical fighting beat Mr Lafavor’s aggressive attacks. Lin advanced to the final match and finished second, while Lafavor fought the consolation match and finished third. In another advanced division, Mr Cameron Lemere showcased some of his best fighting to date and went undefeated to claim first place. In a mixed advanced and intermediate division, Alliance showed up well with the intermediate underdog Mr Alex Hamilton taking first place, while his advanced teammates Tristian Glass and Tanner Lafavor took third and fourth respectively.

In an intermediate women’s division, Ms Madison Rud and Ms Jaylynn Ernst fought hard and earned the chance to face each other for first place; Rud came away with first over the less experienced Ernst, who took second. In a men’s division, Mr Mason Rud started strong, scoring five headkicks on his first opponent and denying all comers to take first. In the younger intermediate divisions, Mr Andrew Burger was mobile and fought smart, spearing his opponents and taking first place. Ms Kaitlyn Retzer showcased her characteristic energy in an undefeated run in her division and also claimed first place. Mr Camden Archambeau claimed second place in his division with some of his best fighting to date.

In a mixed beginner and intermediate division, competitor Keith Smette fought hard and won his way to the final match; after taking a bad fall fighting a competitor four ranks senior to him, he picked himself back up and scored his match-winning point to take first. In an older boys beginner division, Mr Iesa Zudeen used his best weapon to take his points; his final match went into extra time and when the dust cleared, Zudeen had claimed a very respectable second place in his first ever tournament appearance. Ms Addy Smette fought with her characteristic grace and won two of three matches to claim third place in her division. In a separate division, in a scenario becoming familiar to the Alliance team, twins Ben and Gavin Fryhling cut through the opposition and ended up in the match for first and second together. Mr Ben gained the upper hand by staying mobile and came away with first place with Mr Gavin taking second.

Fritel scores two final points to take first.

Fritel scores two final points to take first.

In the jr blackbelt divisions, Mr Tanner Olson and Mr Braden Fritel represented Alliance.  Olson returned to the ring for the first time in over two years; though rusty, Olson acquitted himself well.  Mr Braden Fritel slammed through multiple opponents with his characteristic speed and accuracy. Fritel, injured during the second match, persevered to fight the final match for first place against an older and larger opponent. Despite these disadvantages, Fritel kept his cool, picking targets and committing to scoring to defeat his opponent and take first place.

Adult blackbelt breaking was the second to last event of the day, and consisted of two rings of black belts setting up breaking sequences of up to ten boards each. Four of our Alliance blackbelts demonstrated their skill in a division of nearly twenty competitors; all showed well and Mr Dale Schniebel earned a second place finish with a powerful and focused performance.

A separate breaking event for Masters, in which there are no limits (within reason) to the number of boards, bricks or stations, is also unique to the Greenquist Invitational. This year Master Devon Waldron competed, breaking twelve boards and nine bricks to claim the Masters’ Breaking Champion award.

The black belt fighting divisions were divided into under eighteen men, under eighteen women, lightweight men, heavyweight men, and women. In the under eighteen divisions, Mr Logan Olson fought two time Minnesota state champion and national competitor Cameron Kerns of Detroit Lakes; Mr Logan lost to the more seasoned fighter but kept up much better than in previous bouts, and took third overall. Mr Kyle Sanford battled a handful of opponents in the heavyweight division, making it to the final match and taking second overall. In the men’s championship title, Mr Jesse Kipp – a Greenquist fighter – challenged Mr Charles Smith for the title belt, but was denied by the precise and athletic performance of Smith; Master Charles Smith officially keeps the belt for another year.

Some of the juniors crew, waiting to watch the blackbelt breaking and sparring.

Some of the juniors crew, waiting to watch the blackbelt breaking and sparring.

Alliance would like to thank the Greenquist Academy for hosting the tournament and providing a wonderful environment for competition and both team and personal growth. We would also like to congratulate the entire team on all the hard work, and thank the parents, instructors and coaches who have supported them. As always, our gratitude goes out to Grandmaster Eric Greenquist for his many years of dedication and instruction, and Great Grandmaster Moo Young Yun for his tireless efforts in the promotion of Korean martial arts.

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Bemidji Invitational 2016

Eight competitors from Alliance Taekwondo made the trip out to Bemidji / Cass Lake the first weekend of February to compete in the Bemidji Invitational tournament. The team for this event was captained by jr blackbelt Braden Fritel, stepping up to show leadership. The underbelts included Eddie Lin, Madison Rud, Mason Rud, Andrew Burger, Alex Hamilton and Addy and Keith Smette. Together they claimed twenty-one top three placements.

2016-02-Bemidji-Crew-1600x1200

The Bemidji crew – absent their captain – with awards.

Alliance’s only junior blackbelt competitor, Mr Braden Fritel, earned a third place finish in blackbelt forms in a very competitive juniors division with Koryo.  In underbelt forms, seven Alliance competitors entered seven separate divisions.  In a juniors advanced division, Mr Eddie Lin showed off the hard work he’s been doing and took first.  In the intermediate adult divisions, Ms Madison Rud took third in forms as did Mr Mason Rud.  Mr Alex Hamilton took third in a junior division.  In the beginner divisions, Mr Keith Smette took second place with sister Addy taking third in a separate division.

In breaking, Mr Eddie Lin took third in his advanced division.  Mr Alex Hamilton took third in a juniors intermediate division, and Mr Keith Smette took third in a beginner division.

Mr Braden Fritel was the lone Alliance weapons competitor as well, and in a division of twelve he took third place with a rusty but competent demonstration of Shaolin Quan.

In the underbelt sparring divisions, Mr Eddie fought hard and smart in a tough division; he sunk his first opponent, but was outscored by a single point in his final match and took a very respectable second place.  In an intermediate division, Mr Alex Hamilton fought well in his furthest tournament from home, denying all comers and wading through three opponents to claim first place.  In an older intermediate division, Mr Andrew Burger fought well in multiple matches of a round-robin, losing one match but winning two and claiming second place.  In separate young beginner divisions, siblings Addy and Keith Smette battled three opponents each.  Addy took first in her division, showing beautiful roundhouse kicks in every match; Keith was energetic and tenacious and took home second place in his division.  Twins Madison and Mason Rud competed in two adult divisions each.  In a chain of fights, Ms Madison Rud showed perseverance and strategy and would not be denied in either division, taking first in both.  Mr Mason Rud traded fierce blows with his opponents and ended up taking third in both of his divisions.

In the jr blackbelt division, Mr Braden Fritel showed his skill and his mettle.  Mr Braden went untouched up until the match for first and second, including scoring many points on a bigger and stronger opponent.  Fritel’s friend and frequent opponent Wyatt Hermanson of Roughrider cleared the other side of the bracket, and the two again ended up fighting for first and second. This time around, Mr Braden took both rounds for a decisive win and claimed first place.

After a long driver back to the Fargo hotel that night, the crew hit the road the next morning, narrowly dodging some nasty weather.

After a long drive back to the Fargo hotel that night, the crew hit the road the next morning, narrowly dodging some nasty weather.

While roads were decent both days on the journey out, inclement weather threatened the travelers on the way back. The two and a half hour drive back to Fargo that night saw more than one of the young competitors passed out, but it didn’t stop them from getting in some quality team swimming time back at the hotel.  With a snowstorm approaching Fargo on Sunday, they slept in but skipped town earlier than planned to drive the last leg of the trip home.  Despite snow flurries and intense fog, the crew made it home in time to catch the Super Bowl.

Alliance would like to thank Grandmaster Cindy Brandt for hosting the tournament and providing a solid environment for competition where Alliance students experienced both team and personal growth. We would also like to congratulate the entire team on all the hard work, and thank the parents, instructors and coaches who have supported them. As always, our gratitude goes out to Grandmaster Eric Greenquist for his many years of dedication and instruction, and Great Grandmaster Moo Young Yun for his tireless efforts in the promotion of martial arts.

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Capitol City Championship Invitational 2016

Alliance Taekwondo participated in the 2016 Capitol City Championship Invitational on January 23rd with a crew of fifteen solid competitors.  The Alliance team included blackbelts Caleb and Logan Olson, junior blackbelts Austin Hunt and Braden Fritel, and underbelts Cameron Lemere, Logan King, Madison and Mason Rud, Andrew Burger, Alex Hamilton, Camden Archambeau, Ben and Gavin Fryhling and Addy and Keith Smette.  The team took home forty-two awards, including seventeen first place finishes, fourteen second place finishes and six third place finishes.

The Capitol City crew with their awards.

The Capitol City crew with their awards.

At the jr blackbelt level, Mr Braden Fritel earned a second place finish in a very competitive forms division; he also placed second in weapons with an underpracticed but still strong staff set.  In underbelt forms, Logan King earned an honorable mention at the advanced level.  In the intermediate divisions, Ms Madison Rud took first in forms and Mr Mason Rud took third.  In the junior divisions, Mr Andrew Burger took second, and in younger divisions Mr Alex Hamilton took first while newcomer Camden Archambeau took second.  In the beginner divisions, Mr Gavin Fryhling took first while twin brother Ben earned an honorable mention.  Ms Addy Smette took second place with brother Keith taking third.

In breaking, red belts Cameron Lemere and Logan King took second place in their respective advanced divisions.  Siblings Mason and Madison Rud took first and third respectively in separate intermediate divisions.  Mr Andrew Burger took first in his juniors breaking division, while Mr Alex Hamilton took third in a younger division.  At the beginner level, Ms Addy Smette took first, Mr Gavin Fryhling took second, Mr Keith Smette took third and Mr Ben Fryhling won an honorable mention.

In the jr blackbelt breaking divisions, brothers Austin Hunt and Braden Fritel struck hard and fast to claim the top two spots, earning first and second respectively.

In the underbelt sparring divisions, Mr Logan King and Mr Cameron Lemere battled through two sides of the same advanced bracket to end up facing each other for the top placement.  In a fast but friendly bout King took first, edging out the younger Lemere who was relegated to a very respectable second place finish.  Madison and Mason Rud competed in separate adult intermediate divisions, both denying all comers to take first place each.  In the younger intermediate divisions, Mr Andrew Burger waded through opponents to take first; Mr Alex Hamilton had a similar showing, netting first in a separate division.  In the beginner rings, Ms Addy Smette, Mr Ben Fryhling and Mr Gavin Fryhling all took first place in separate divisions.  After being defeated by teammate Ben Fryhling in the second heat, Mr Keith Smette won his final match and claimed third place in his division.

In the jr blackbelt division fighting divisions, Mr Braden Fritel cleared his opponents until being matched against Roughrider rival Wyatt Hermanson; in a virtually scoreless match that went into a second overtime, Hermanson won a single point to claim first, with Fritel taking home second place.

Mr Logan Olson competed in the adult blackbelt men’s sparring division, battling two Roughrider opponents and taking third after the dust cleared.

Alliance also saw five competitors finish in the power challenge; Logan Olson, Austin Hunt, Cameron Lemere and Alex Hamilton all took home gold for their age groups, and Braden Fritel took home silver in his group.  Power challenge is a contest in which a competitor performs three elementary striking techniques to a padded target, which electronically measures the force delivered.

Alliance would like to thank the Ehrmantraut’s Academy for hosting the tournament and providing these opportunities. We would also like to congratulate the entire team on all the hard work, and thank the parents, instructors and coaches who have supported them. As always, our gratitude goes out to Grandmaster Eric Greenquist for his many years of dedication and instruction, and Great Grandmaster Moo Young Yun for his tireless efforts in the promotion of Korean martial arts.

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