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.
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.