Tae kwan do titles abound for locals

11 area athletes win 16 titles

Trish Church’s days as the most prolific women’s tae kwon do champion are numbered.
And to hear her tell it, that’s just fine with her.

The 44-year-old Church, who’s won 11 world titles – the most recorded by a woman in the sport – is a victim of her own coaching success.

Hot on her heels is Alexa Rodrigues, her 13-year-old niece, with 10 world titles.

And she knows it’s only a matter of time before her protege overtakes her.

Rodrigues will soon have a clear path to the all-time winners’ title when Church completes her tae kwon do mastership in 2015.

“I’ll no longer be allowed to compete, and at that point, she’ll pass me on because she’s just 13,” Church said.

“She’s pretty special.”

Church and Rodrigues are among 11 area martial artists who combined for an unprecedented 16 titles at the June 25 to 28 American Tae kwon do Association World Championships at Alltel Arena in Little Rock, Ark.

Another was Michael Sanders, a car crash victim whose doctors said would never walk again after the accident, who won the special ability division titles in traditional forms and sparring.

These tae kwon do success stories – and countless others – are products of ATA Martial Arts/Karate for Kids based in Carmel Valley and Encinitas, which is headed by Trish Church and her husband, Master Ken Church.

The academies, with a combined enrollment of about 1,000, were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation by the ATA.

“You’re lucky to have one person in an entire state win a (world) title,” Trish Church said. “To have 16 out of one school is unheard of.”

Rodrigues, who won the third-degree black belt division in traditional forms in the 11- to 13-year-old age group, is among a cadre of up-and-comers with tremendous upside.

In the boys’ circuit, Demitri De La Cruz won world titles in the third-degree division for traditional forms (8- to 10-year-olds) and extreme forms (9- to 15-year-olds).

Alexander Nicita won the first-degree division in traditional forms (8- to10-year-olds) and Kenny Berger won the first-degree weapons title for 8- to 10-year-olds.

“The things they can do are just over-the-top,” Church said.
Alejandro Lopez-High won the boys’ first-degree traditional forms title (14- to 16-year-olds).

Jessica Chan took the girls’ third degree weapons title and Grace Kim won the girls’ third-degree traditional forms title (both in the 14- to 16-year-old division).

Church won the women’s fifth degree traditional forms and sparring titles (40- to 49-year-olds). Leigh Beck won the women’s third-degree traditional forms title, and Merrill Miller won the fifth-degree traditional forms and weapons titles (both 50- to 59-year-olds).

Church and Rodrigues performed with the elite world demo team before a crowd of about 20,000 at the opening ceremonies.

Church said not all of her program’s success stories are measured by titles, noting that Dartmouth-bound Whitney Fu, a recent Torrey Pines High grad and 2008 world champion who didn’t compete this year because of academic obligations, was awarded a $4,000 academic scholarship by the ATA.

“What they take from this is not just a world title, it’s the work ethic which is so important in today’s world,” Church said.

“That’s something they’ll keep with them forever.”

Related posts:

  1. 10-year-old champ taking taekwondo world by storm
  2. Locals push for PHR park
  3. New rector joins St. Peter’s
  4. Locals wake up an appetite at SDJA Turkey Trot
  5. The CW looking for locals for new series

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=7239

Posted by mking on Jul 9, 2009. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RSS LA JOLLA NEWS

  • La Jolla Library welcomes new chief Shaun Briley
    For La Jolla Riford Library’s new head librarian, Shaun Briley, books have been a part of his life and career, in some form or another, every step of the way. […]
  • Tangerine trees, marmalade skies for Beatles-inspired Patrons of the Prado gala in Balboa Park, San Diego
    “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was the theme of the Patrons of the Prado gala on July 12, 2014 in Balboa Park, San Diego. Beatles-inspired music came from Wayne Foster Entertainment. Sandy Redman and Jeanne Jones served as event chairs. 2014’s beneficiaries are the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Museum of Art and The Old Globe Theatre. […]
  • La Jolla’s Best Bets for events July 31- Aug. 7
    Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) offers a crash course in starting a photography collection 6 p.m. Thursday Aug. 7. at the Ligne Roset Showroom, 7726 Girard Ave. MOPA assistant curator Chantel Paul and director of jdc Fine Art Jennifer DeCarlo will share professional insights. […]

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • Rancho Santa Fe resident’s Gen 7 wines earn top honors
    Rancho Santa Fe resident Tim Bacino’s Gen 7 Wines is on a hot streak, his varietals winning several awards this summer in California wine competitions. […]
  • Torrey Pines High School baseball alum Taylor Murphy excelling in pro ball
    It was during a breakout senior year at Torrey Pines High that Taylor Murphy first popped up on the radar of professional scouts. Shortly after graduation, Murphy was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 40th round of the June 2011 amateur draft. He declined, honoring a commitment to the University of the Pacific. Three years later, Murphy got another sho […]
  • Why Hire a Licensed Landscape Professional?
    By Steve Jacobs, Nature Designs The old saying – “if something seems to good to be true, it probable is” – is quite fitting when it comes to hiring a contractor for your home or yard construction project. While it is smart to shop around, get quotes, etc., don’t fall into the trap of trusting […]