Friday, August 19, 2011

USA Taekwondo Phoenix Team Brings Home Gold in International Hanmadang Championship

Phoenix Taekwondo Students Compete in Korea for Team USA, Team Returns To USA With the Gold

For immediate release
Contact: John Nottingham 602-896-8721

Taekwondo Team USA Returns With Gold from 2011 Taekwondo Hanmadang International Championships in Korea
The Kukkiwon Taekwondo Hanmadang is reported as the largest Black Belt tournament in the world.
Several students from Phoenix Arizona went to Korea to represent the USA in international Taekwondo competition. Black Belts Jessica Wharton, Steve Moore and their teacher John Nottingham went as representatives from Phoenix Arizona on the 52 member USA Team.
The three USA Martial Arts Phoenix Taekwondo practitioners were part of Taekwondo Team USA competing at the Kukkiwon World Taekwondo Hanmadang over four days against the best and brightest Taekwondo practitioners from around the world. Over 199 countries have official Taekwondo teams under the Kukkiwon and World Taekwondo Federation organizations and all were invited to send a team. The World Taekwondo Federation is the officially recognized body for Olympic Taekwondo and Korean Taekwondo worldwide.

Taekwondo Team USA is lead by team coach Grandmaster Richard Na of Na's Black Belt Academy of Washington. Grandmaster Richard Na is also the Assistant Director of MAC or Martial Arts Commission, an officially recognized body under National Governing Body USAT (USA Taekwondo). Master Na also competed in last years Taekwondo Hanmadang but was disqualified on a much disputed technicality. Determined to beat it, this year Master Na won the overall Masters marble slab knife hand strike breaking division, a live televised event on ESPN Korea and bringing home the Gold medal. A father and son team from Wisconsin, Master Brian Van Patten and his son AJ also brought home medals for their respective divisions. The USA Taekwondo team brought home 9 World Taekwondo Hanmadang medals.
The event was held near Seoul Korea in August 2011 to determine the best in categories ranging from knife hand strike breaking granite slabs, highest jumping kick with board break, longest jumping kick board break, most consecutive spin kick board breaks in 20 seconds, team demonstration, Taekwondo Aerobics, Taekwondo Gymnastics, and freestyle breaking. Unlike the Olympics, there is no sparring (fighting with kicks and punches for points). Instead, the goal of the Hanmadang is to "Uniting the World through Taekwondo". It strives to do this with peaceful events, emphasizing the skills, spirit and precision of Taekwondo.

The three Phoenix area Arizona representatives will be competing in team forms, board and granite breaking, and special Taekwondo demonstrations. The 2011 USA Team is comprised of members from all over the United States including Wisconsin, Illinois, Utah, Washington and others.

Unlike typical martial arts competition, the Hanmadang emphasizes synchronized musical forms, and amazing feats of Taekwondo such as highest jump kick with board break, longest flying kick with board break, fastest consecutive board breaks with a spin kick, elaborate self defense demonstrations and technical choreography. It is held over four days from August 10-13, 2011. Each country selects a team to represent them in competition and travel to Korea to compete in the World Taekwondo Hanmadang.

Taekwondo is not only a classical Korean martial art of self defense, it is Korea's national sport. Taekwondo, or Tae Kwon Do, translates to "the way of kicking and punching" and is the world's most practiced form of martial arts. Known for it's emphasis on character development and instilling manners and a disciplined positive attitude, Taekwondo is legendary for helping men, women and children kick and punch their way to physical fitness.

For more information contact USA Martial Arts Phoenix 602-896-8721 email

World Kukkiwon Taekwondo Hanmadang Korea
Team USA - Arizona Representatives
USA Martial Arts Phoenix
4731 E. Greenway Suite 9
Phoenix, Arizona 85032
Telephone 602-896-8721


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