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.