Three New Alliance Jr Blackbelts

Please join us in congratulating Kaitlyn Retzer, Tanner Lafavor and Kenyon Meissel for achieving the rank of 1st Poom.

All three students have been training for over three years.  Ms Kaitlyn has been training at Alliance since the fall of 2014, Mr Tanner first started in 2013 and Mr Kenyon began in early 2016; after years of training, they have all undertaken the exam for their jr blackbelt.  This year will see all three students at different grades in middle school.

Ms Kaitlyn completed her exam for first degree jr blackbelt on May 18, 2019.  Mr Tanner completed his incomplete breaking technique shortly thereafter, and Mr Kenyon finished his last outstanding technique after a couple months of perseverance.

Blackbelt testing is demanding, requiring the candidates to be accomplished in empty-hand techniques 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 about 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 Summer Camp 2019

The third Alliance summer camp was a success!  A crew of twelve 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 after striking camp.

Master Devon Waldron and Master Tammy Fairbanks are both veteran campers.  Master Waldron is also an Eagle Scout and Master 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, training different techniques that we don’t get a chance to work on often.

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

Enjoying some summer afternoon dock and water time at the Alliance summer camp.

With our third successful event and a continuing positive relationship with our generous Brush Lake hosts, Alliance can look forward to another camp next year to build skills, camaraderie and memories.

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Detroit Lakes Invitational 2019

An elite crew of 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.  Adult blackbelts Dale Scheibel and Mason Rud were joined by a juniors team captained by Eddie Lin, including Justin LaFavor and replete with newest Alliance jr blackbelts Kaitlyn Retzer, Tanner Lafavor and Kenyon Meissel and joined by a single underbelt, Kade Conklin.  Altogether, our small group claimed twenty-one top three placements and two fourth place honorable mentions.  In addition to that, Mr Mason Rud claimed the adult blackbelt grand championship trophy.

The small Alliance crew minus the blackbelt grandchampion.

In the jr blackbelt forms divisions, Ms Kaitlyn Retzer took third in forms with a Koryo she just finished learning only days before. Mr Eddie Lin competed with a strong Keumgang in an older division and was awarded a fourth place finish. Mr Kenyon Meissel, Alliance’s newest jr blackbelt, competed with Pal Gae Pal Cheung and took first, which sent him to the overall blackbelt forms championship to compete with all ages of blackbelts for a forms grand championship title.  In a large adult blackbelt forms division, Mr Mason Rud secured a third place finish. In the youth underbelt forms divisions, Alliance newcomer Mr Kade Conklin stepped up to take a first place medal for his division.

Mr Mason Rud and Mr Eddie Lin competed in a team forms division for the first time, with a pair of Keumgang patterns. Their performance was strong and they finished in third place.

In a handful of large breaking divisions, the Alliance competitors had some fun.  Mr Kade Conklin, the only underbelt competitor, took second place with a powerful performance. At the jr blackbelt level, Mr Tanner Lafavor took first in his division. In an older division, Mr Justin LaFavor took second over teammate Eddie Lin, who took third.  At the adult blackbelt level, Mr Mason Rud claimed first place with a creative and powerful demonstration of technique and execution.

In the weapons divisions, Alliance was also competitive. In the junior divisions, Mr Eddie Lin showcased his skill with a blade to claim the first place spot. Teammate Justin Lafavor earned a fourth place honorable mention with staff. In the adult divisions, Mr Mason Rud also competed with staff, and secured a first place finish.

Kicking off the sparring divisions was the blackbelt team fighting division.  Alliance blackbelt Mr Mason Rud teamed up with other Greenquist Academy blackbelts to throw down. In a less heated but still stiff set of competitive team fights, the Greenquist team came away with a second place finish.

In underbelt fighting, Alliance beginner fighter Kade Conklin showed that he put in the work to be prepared for his first tournament fighting appearance, cleaving handily through his opponents to claim first place.

In the jr blackbelt divisions, Alliance competitors showcased their electric fighting ability.  In a young division, Mr Kenyon Meissel bested his opponents to take first in his first fighting appearance as a jr blackbelt. Also fighting for the first time at jr blackbelt, Ms Kaitlyn Retzer toughed it out against bigger, older opponents in the girls jr blackbelt fighting division to take third. In an older division, Mr Tanner Lafavor fought well and earned second in his first jr blackbelt fighting appearance, loosing only to teammate, captain and veteran competitor Mr Eddie Lin, who definitively claimed the first place spot. Mr Justin LaFavor fought up one age group in the under eighteen blackbelt division; in a rematch against national podium finisher Mr Davin Abraham he again came out on top, and went on to win his first place match against another Evergreen blackbelt to earn first place.

In blackbelt fighting, Mr Mason Rud turned it on and crunched his way to the match for first place, where he went toe-to-toe with circuit veteran and two-time winner of the Greenquist men’s title belt, Mr Britton Kleeb. After two well-fought matches Mr Mason took second, with a scoring difference of only a single point.

At the end of the day – with two first place finished, two second place finishes and two third place finishes – Mr Mason Rud had accrued enough cumulative points to win the Adult Blackbelt Grand Championship trophy, the ultimate prize for successful competition across all categories.  Congratulations, Mr Mason!

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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Greenquist Invitational 2019

Alliance Taekwondo fielded a dynamic team for the 2019 Greenquist Championship Invitational.  Alliance boasted four adult blackbelt competitors including Dale Schneibel, Kyle Sanford, and Mason and Mads Rud.  The juniors team boasted a set of six jr blackbelts; team captains and jr coaches Eddie Lin and Logan King were joined by
Shauna Fairbanks, Justin Lafavor, Andrew Burger and Tristian Glass.  Thirteen underbelt competitors also entered the field; Kaitlyn Retzer, Tanner Lafavor, Kenyon Meissel, Tatum Spadgenske, Tyler Glass, Kristofer Huck, Braxton Standaert, Jaden Silveria, Brooklyn Luebke, Jeremiah and Gabriel Whited, Kade Conklin and Tanner Glass.

Alliance took home a total of fifty-nine awards, including eighteen first place finishes, sixteen second place finishes, seven third place finishes, sixteen fourth place honorable mention finishes and two additional non-standard contest wins.

A handful of the Greenquist Competition crew with trophies. A third of the crew is not pictured.

The Masters’ forms division was up first, with Master Devon Waldron taking fourth performing the 5th degree pattern, Sipjin. In separate divisions, Kyle Sanford took fourth and Mads Rud took second.  In three separate junior blackbelt divisions, Logan King took first place, Eddie Lin and Justin Lafavor took second place, Shauna Fairbanks took third place and Andrew Burger and Tristian Glass took fourth.

In underbelt forms, thirteen juniors competed.  In the advanced divisions, Ms Kaitlyn Retzer claimed a first place finish, as did Mr Tyler Glass in a separate division. Both Mr Tanner Lafavor and Mr Braxton Standaert took second in their respective divisions. Mr Kenyon Meissel placed fourth. At the intermediate level, Mr Jaden Silveria claimed a third place spot. In the beginner divisions, Mr Tanner Glass took first, Mr Gabriel Whited, Mr Kade Conklin and Ms Brooklyn Luebke earned second place wins.

In two different adult blackbelt weapons divisions, twins Mason and Mads Rud took second and fourth, and veteran Kyle Sanford also took fourth.  Three Alliance junior blackbelts competed with weapons, showcasing the standard Hapkido Bo Staff set; Mr Logan King and Mr Eddie Lin took third and fourth respectively.

All juniors breaking and underbelt breaking was up next.  In a stiff jr blackbelt division, Mr Andrew Burger took first and Mr Eddie Lin claimed fourth. In multiple advanced divisions, Ms Kaitlyn Retzer and Mr Braxton Standaert took first, Mr Kenyon Meissel and Mr Krisofer huck took second, Mr Tanner Lafavor took third and Ms Tatum Spadgenske took fourth.  At the intermediate level, Mr Jaden Silveria won first place. Among the beginners, brothers Jeremiah and Gabriel Whited took first in different divisions, while Ms Brooklyn Luebke earned a third place finish and Mr Kade Conklin took fourth.

In a fun set of non-standard events unique to the Greenquist Invitational, competitors participated in belt tying competitions and jump rope competitions.  Each division was large and only one award was presented to the top competitor in each category.  In jump rope, Mr Eddie Lin smoked the competition within his age group to claim the prize.

Mr Tanner Lafavor scores with controlled kicking techniques.

In the advanced underbelt sparring divisions, Mr Kristofer Huck lead way with runaway scoring against his opponents to win first place. In another division, Mr Tanner Lafavor showed some of his best fighting to date and also earned a first place finish. Ms Kaitlyn Retzer and Mr Braxton Standaert showed their mettle against bigger opponents and each achieved second place finishes. Mr Kenyon Meissel, Ms Tatum Spadgenske and Mr Tyler Glass battled hard and came away with fourth place finishes.

At the intermediate level, Mr Jaden Silveria stood up well against bigger and more experienced opponents, securing himself a third place finish. Mr Jeremiah Whited was thrown into the same intermediate division despite his beginner status, and managed to claim first place despite the more experience opposition.

In the beginner divisions, Mr Gabriel Whited knifed through his opposition to take first. In a separate division, Ms Brooklyn Luebke speared her opponents with smart kicks to secure first place as well.

In the jr blackbelt divisions, Alliance fighters had some interesting matches. In the smaller of the two size divisions, Mr Eddie Lin overwhelmed his opposition and took first place; in the same division, Mr Tristian Glass took fourth. In the taller division, teammates Justin Lafavor and Andrew Burger fought first, which should never happen in a division that has sufficient competitors to ensure that teammates don’t eliminate each other in the first stage of the bracket. In the next match, Mr Logan King tagged his opponent with a high-skill, legal technique to a legal target with excellent control; however, when his opponent stumbled into the kick increasing the force, Logan was disqualified immediately contrary to explicit tournament rules stating that any hard contact would result in a penalty for the first offense and disqualification for the second. Despite the DQ, he was mysteriously awarded fourth place. Mr Justin went on to fight in the first place match, and finished in second.

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.  In the men’s division, Mr Dale Schneibel took home first place after showcasing power and timing, with Mr Mason Rud taking second with excellent energy and focus.

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.  Up against a handful of other skilled masters, Alliance Master Devon Waldron again claimed the championship for the third time.  Master Devon broke eleven boards and fifteen bricks to claim the Masters’ Breaking Champion award.

Alliance had three adult blackbelts fighting in two separate divisions. In the heavyweight division, Mr Kyle Sanford finished third. Fighting for the first time in the men’s division, Mr Mads Rud took fourth, with brother Mason Rud going one match further along in the bracket to take second.

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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Alliance Ski Trip 2019

This year, Alliance continued the growing tradition of taking a team trip down to the Black Hills of South Dakota for some team building snow sports action.  This time, we had a crew of twenty-two that decided to make the trek – our most populous crew yet!

Despite the cold weather (one day reaching a high of 1°F), the crew spent two days shredding at Terry Peak and enjoying games in the evening.  The crew also spent some time enjoying Black Hills amenities and hospitality thanks to the generosity and facilitation of Master Naomi Even-Aberle and Master Nik Aberle of Full Circle Martial Arts in Rapid City.

The 2019 Terry Peak crew, after our second day on the slopes.

On the slopes, the levels of experience varied across a great range.  A couple older members of the crew were shred veterans who have been on the slopes for years; a handful of others were brand new to the activity, learning for the first time how to ride (or ski) the white, frozen waves that covered the rocky sides of Terry Peak.  Beyond just snow sports however, fellowship and team building was the core goal of this trip and in that endeavor Alliance was blessed.

The Alliance 2019 Snow Trip was a success and a memorable event for all those who participated.  The crew had lots of fun and will look forward to continuing the tradition in the future.

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Longtime Alliance Instructor Achieves 4th Dan

On Saturday, December 22 2019, Alliance blackbelt and instructor Ms Tammy Fairbanks undertook the exam for 4th Dan, which is the Kukkiwon Master degree.  This is an honor and a privilege, as very few practitioners maintain the progress and dedication to become a master in any system of martial arts.

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 Taekwondo 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.  In the case of the Taekwondo Master degree, it represents a minimum of eight to ten years of experience, with at least six of those years spent training and teaching at or above the black belt level.  In the case of Ms Tammy Fairbanks, she began training over twenty six years ago and is one of the only blackbelts that has been with Alliance since it was founded.  After a handful of years off to focus on motherhood during the 2000s, Ms Tammy came back to train and teach with Alliance and has been active ever since, including a training trip in Korea in 2010, and earning her 3rd Dan blackbelt as well as lifetime Chang Moo Kwan membership in 2012.

The exam was administered by 6th Dan Master Linda Catalano as chief examiner, with 6th Dan Master Ken Sorenson – a former Alliance student and blackbelt – as a guest examiner.  It took nearly two hours from start to finish and included multiple patterns, hand to hand and weapon fighting techniques, board and brick breaking, candle techniques and sword techniques, broken glass and academic material.

Ms Tammy Fairbanks completed her exam on Thursday, January 31st, 2019.  Please join us in congratulating this outstanding blackbelt and instructor on this lifetime achievement; congratulations, Master Tammy Fairbanks, 4th Dan!  필승

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Roughrider Invitational 2018

Alliance Taekwondo attended the 2018 Roughrider Invitational Championship on October 20th.  Alliance fielded a team twenty-one competitors strong, including blackbelts Tammy Fairbanks, Dale Schneibel and Madison and Mason Rud; the youth team was lead by junior blackbelts Eddie Lin, Shauna Fairbnanks, Logan King, Justin Lafavor and Andrew Burger; underbelt competitors included Tanner LaFavor, Kaitlyn Retzer, Tatum Spadgenske, Kenyon Meissel, Clark Schumacher, Dyllan Heidt, Kristofer Huck, Braxton Standaert, Jaden Silveria, Wyatt Fuller and Jeremiah and Gabriel Whited.  The Alliance team claimed twenty-eight trophies in total, including twelve first place wins, six second place awards and ten third place finishes.

The competition started – as usual – with blackbelt forms.  In separate jr blackbelt divisions Mr Logan King took first with a clean a crisp Koryo performance, Mr Eddie Lin taking second with his first competitive showing of Keumgang and Ms Shauna Fairbanks claimed a third place spot with Koryo.  In the blackbelt weapons forms divisions, fist Dan blackbelts Mason and Madison Rud took second and third respectively.

In underbelt forms, advanced competitors took home four trophies.  Ms Kaitlyn Retzer took first in her division.  Mr Kenyon Meissel claimed a second place trophy.  In two separate divisions, Mr Clark Schumacher and Ms Dyllan Heidt both claimed third.  At the intermediate level, Mr Kristofer Huck won first place.  In the beginner forms divisions, Mr Jeremiah Whited claimed a second place trophy.

In breaking, junior underbelts Mr Braxton Standaert and Gabriel Whited took second and first in their respective intermediate and beginner divisions.  In the jr blackbelt divisions, Mr Eddie Lin slammed his way to a first place finish with Mr Logan King taking second; in a separate division, Mr Justin Lafavor also claimed a first place trophy.  In the adult blackbelt divisions, Alliance officer Dale Schneibel crushed board after board in a show of power to claim first place.

In the sparring divisions, the Alliance underbelts put in some hard work.  In an advanced division, Ms Kaitlyn Retzer fought smart and claimed first.  In a separate division, Mr Kenyon Meissel earned a third place finish.  In another advanced division, Ms Dyllan Heidt also battled her way to a first place position.  At the intermediate level, both Mr Kristofer Huck and Mr Braxton Standaert earned first place finishes in separate sparring divisions.

The junior blackbelt divisions were rough and competitive as always.  Mr Eddie Lin crunched through his competition with an absurd score margin, very clearly taking first.  In a separate, older division Mr Andrew Burger fought for the first time at the blackbelt level, putting up a good fight in a rough match against experienced Roughrider fighter Eric Bender.  Burger went on to defeat his next opponent to claim a third place spot.

Blackbelt fighting was two rounds of two-minute continuous fighting and scoring per match.  At the age of fourteen, Alliance jr blackbelt Mr Justin Lafavor fought in the under eighteen full blackbelt division, showing his mettle against upper classmen two and three years his senior.  After a close first match, he went on to take third place is a challenging division.  In the older Dan divisions, Mr Mason Rud fought with skill and tenacity, and battled his way to the first place match, though he ultimately took second.  Alliance would also like to shoutout to Master Naomi Even-Aberle from Rapid City , who beat other masters and blackbelts alike and eventually claimed second place in the ladies division.

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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Two New Alliance Jr Blackbelts

Please join us in congratulating Andrew Burger and Tristian Glass for achieving the rank of 1st Poom.

Mr Tristian has been training at Alliance since 2013, and Mr Andrew has been training since 2014; after over three years of training each, they have undertaken the exam for their jr blackbelt.  Mr Andrew is looking forward to being a freshman next year, while Mr Tristian is looking forward to middle school.

Mr Andrew completed his exam for first degree jr blackbelt on June 17th, 2018; Mr Tristian completed his unfinished requirements on the evening of August 13th, 2018.  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.  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 Summer Camp 2018

The second Alliance summer camp was a success!  With a crew of eleven, Alliance sported four adult blackbelt “counselors” and seven “campers,” a cozy turn out for our second 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.

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, and training the dan bong 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.

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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Detroit Lakes 2018

A medium sized crew of thirteen competitors from Alliance Taekwondo made the trip out to Detroit Lakes the first weekend of June to compete in the Detroit Lakes Invitational Tournament.  Young adult blackbelts Madison and Mason Rud headed up the team, with newest Alliance jr blackbelts Alex Hamilton and Justin LaFavor leading the youth team.  Altogether, they claimed twenty-five top three placements and four fourth place honorable mentions.  In addition to that, Mr Alex Hamilton took home the Jr Grand Championship trophy, and Ms Madison and Mr Mason fought alongside Mr Bradi Leshovsky to claim the first place trophy in team sparring.

One of the two Alliance junior blackbelt competitors placed in forms; Mr Alex Hamilton earned first place with Koryo, which would send him to the overall blackbelt forms championship to compete with all ages of blackbelts for a grand championship.  In adult blackbelt forms, in a large division run with very unusual scoring and placement rules, Mr Mason Rud eked out a third place finish.

In the youth underbelt forms divisions, Alliance saw competitive performances across the board.  Andrew Burger competed in one of the older advanced divisions and was awarded a fourth place honorable mention. At one age group younger, Mr Tristian Glass claimed third, with Ms Tatum Spadgenske taking fourth.  In a separate division, Ms Kaitlyn Retzer took third as well.  Younger still, Mr Kenyon Meissel took first place and in a separate division Mr Clark Schumacher took third.  Ms Reese Spadgenske also took third place.  In an intermediate division, Mr Kristofer Huck placed second.

In a handful of large breaking divisions, the Alliance competitors had some fun.  All in separate advanced underbelt divisions, Mr Andrew Burger secured first place, Mr Reese Spadgenske claimed second place, Ms Kaitlyn Retzer earned third place and Mr Tristian Glass finished in fourth.  At the intermediate level, Mr Kristofer Huck took home first place.  At the jr blackbelt level, Mr Alex Hamilton won first place with training brother Mr Justin LaFavor taking third in a separate division.  At the adult blackbelt level, Mr Mason Rud claimed third place with a creative and powerful routine.

In a handful of large weapons divisions, Ms Madison Rud and Mr Alex Hamilton both earned hardware for their efforts.  In the adult blackbelt division, Ms Madison’s performance of Shaolin Quan was strong and earned her a fourth place finish.  In the jr blackbelt division, Hamilton performed with his Ii Chul Bong set for the first time and took third.

Kicking off the sparring divisions was the blackbelt team fighting division.  Alliance blackbelts Ms Madison Rud and Mr Mason Rud teamed up with Greenquist Academy headquarters blackbelt Mr Bradi Leshovsky to compete against five other teams of three for the team fighting championship trophy.  After after three brackets of rough, high-energy matches, the young trio triumphed to claim the championship.

In intermediate sparring, Mr Kristofer Huck denied all comers and claimed first place.  In the advanced divisions, Mr Kenyon Meissel and Mr Clark Schumacher battled through separate sides of a bracket to meet in the first place match, with Mr Clark taking first this time and Mr Kenyon placing second.  Ms Kaitlyn Retzer fought in a very rough division with a high number of uncalled gam-jeom (penalties), but came through with a second place finish.  Mr Tanner LaFavor fought with focus and won second place in his division.  Ms Tatum Spadgenske battled frustrating matches and claimed third.  In a competitive division of older experienced red belts, training brother Mr Andrew Burger and Mr Tristian Glass battled through opposite sides of a bracket to engage for first; when the dust cleared, Mr Andrew took the top spot with Mr Tristian earned the number two spot right behind him.  In a younger advanced division, Ms Reese Spadgenske knifed through all of her opposition to claim first place as well.

In the jr blackbelt divisions, Mr Alex Hamilton and Mr Justin LaFavor both made it to the first place match in their respective divisions, where they both fought skilled competitors from the Detroit Lakes juniors team, both of whom have placed at the national level.  Mr Alex Hamilton fought a fast-paced match against Ms Madeleine Volesky, who won a narrow victory in overtime consigning Mr Alex to second place.  Mr Justin LaFavor battled Mr Davin Abraham in two continuous rounds, outscoring him to take first place.

After all was said and done at the end of the day, Mr Alex Hamilton accrued enough cumulative points to win the Jr Grand Championship trophy, the ultimate prize for successful competition across all categories.  Congratulations, Mr Alex!

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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