Taekwondo Competition Brings Competitors From All Over the Nation

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-Athletes in all white attire punched and kicked in hopes to win a golden trophy.

The tournament is hosted by Sun Yi's Academy of Taekwondo which has been in Topeka since 1975. And students from all over the United States came to show off their talents to the judges.

Athletes spent months of hard work and preparation to be ready for the competition.

"I love the atmosphere. At times, it gets electric and it's awesome,"said Jacob Terry, first level black belt student from Des Moines, Iowa Drake Taekwondo.

The Sun Yi's Academy's Annual Traditional Taekwondo Tournament was held inside the Expocentre. The tournament features competitors aged 5 to 72 years old.

"This is my 12th tournament. I really like taekwondo and I'm excited,"said Garrett Shriver from Pak's Academy.

Taekwondo students say it is a difficult sport and they are taught discipline, confidence and more.

" You really learn how to defend yourself and I think, most of all, we are taught respect from our gym," said Sabrina McIntosh from Pak's Academy.

Instructors want their students to remember that even though competition can be rough, they still want to make sure they have fun.

" We are competing against each other and we are all friends," said Jerel Krueger, Instructor at Drake Taekwondo.

Judges kept score and winners of each competition took home a trophy. Win or lose, competitors are never too young to believe they were born to win.

"I'm really sure I'm going to win," said 6-year-old competitor, Helinna Bontrager from Sun Yi's Academy.