Alliance Taekwondo fielded an impactful team for the 2018 Greenquist Championship Invitational. Alliance boasted six adult blackbelt competitors – Tammy Fairbanks, Kyle Sanford, Austin Hunt, Tanner Olson and Madison and Mason Rud. The juniors team boasted a set of five jr blackbelts including junior captain Braden Fritel, Shauna Fairbanks, Logan King, and newcomers to the blackbelt scene Alex Hamilton and Justin Lafavor. They were joined by twelve underbelt competitors; Andrew Burger, Kaitlyn Retzer, Tanner Lafavor, Tatum and Reese Spadgenske, Kenyon Meissel, Clark Schumacher, Kristofer Huck, Braxton Standaert, Jaden Silveria and Lily and Ian Combs all represented Alliance well.
Alliance took home a total of fifty-three awards, including twenty-one first place finishes, thirteen second place finishes, seven third place finishes, six fourth place honorable mention finishes and six additional non-standard contest wins.
The Masters’ forms division was up first, with Master Devon Waldron taking second performing the 5th degree pattern, Sipjin, for the first time. In the blackbelt forms divisions, Ms Tammy Fairbanks took fourth with Taebek. In separate men and women divisions, twins Madison and Mason Rud both took third. In three separate junior blackbelt divisions, Mr Braden Fritel, Mr Logan King and Mr Alex Hamilton all took first place, with Ms Shauna Fairbanks bringing home third in one of those divisions as well.
In underbelt forms, twelve juniors competed. In the advanced divisions, Ms Kaitlyn Retzer took second, Ms Tatum Spadgenske took third and Mr Kenyon Meissel took first, all in separate divisions. In the intermediate divisions, Mr Clark Schumacher took first, Ms Reese Spadgenske took third, Mr Kristofer Huck took second and Mr Braxton Standaert took first, all in separate divisions. At the beginner level, Mr Jaden Silveria took first place and Mr Ian Combs also took first, in separate divisions.
In the weapons divisions, twins Madison and Mason Rud took third and fourth at the adult blackbelt level in the same division respectively. Three Alliance junior blackbelts competed with weapons, showcasing the standard Hapkido Bo Staff set; Mr Braden Fritel and Mr Logan King took first and second respectively in the older division, while Mr Alex Hamilton took first place in the younger division.
All juniors breaking and underbelt breaking was up next. In two separate junior blackbelt divisions Mr Logan King took second and Mr Alex Hamilton took fourth. In the advanced divisions, Mr Kenyon Meissel took second. At the intermediate level, Ms Reese Spadgenske and Mr Kristofer Huck took first in separate divisions. At the beginner level, Mr Jaden Silveria 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 belt tying, Mr Braxton Standaert won the award for his age group. In jump rope, Alliance dominated the field with five winners; Mr Alex Hamilton was called up first as winner in his age group, followed by Mr Logan King, Mr Braden Fritel, Mr Tanner Olson and Mr Austin Hunt.
In the advanced underbelt sparring divisions, Mr Andrew Burger showed accuracy and control to fight his way to a second place finish. In a separate division, Ms Tatum Spadgenske fought her way to a second place finish as well. In two other younger divisions, Ms Kaitlyn Retzer also battled her way to a second place finish, and Mr Kenyon Meissel earned a first place finish after several intense bouts.
In four separate young intermediate divisions, Mr Clark Schumacher showed improvement and tenacity and took second. Ms Reese Spagenske also showed improvement, with her high-mobility fighting earning her a first place finish. Mr Kirstofer Huck and Mr Braxton Standaert also showed good focus and determination; both of them won first place.
In the jr blackbelt divisions, Alliance fighters did some heavy lifting. Mr Braden Fritel knifed through his opposition without conceding a single point to claim first place. In a long and tall division, Mr Justin Lafavor showed the results of dedicated work, taking points and launching opponents from the ring to take first. Mr Alex Hamilton was fast and furious, keeping the initiative in his hands and sniping targets to claim first in his division. In the under eighteen blackbelt fighting divisions, Mr Tanner Olson showcased some of his best combat action to date and 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. In the women’s division, Ms Madison Rud claimed a fourth place honorable mention in a division of eight. In the men’s division, Mr Mason Rud claimed third with a creative arrangement, and Mr Kyle Sanford took home first with power and commitment.
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 Bobby Cisco edged out Master Devon Waldron – winner the prior two years – to claim the championship. Master Bobby broke eleven boards and three bricks across seven stations to claim the Masters’ Breaking Champion award.
Alliance fielded twins Madison and Mason Rud in the women’s and men’s adult blackbelt fighting competitions. As young, newer blackbelts they showed up well sparring against older, more experienced competition. In the women’s division, Ms Madison Rud took second place; in the larger men’s division, Mr Mason Rud also took second place.
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.