Nineteen members of the Enterprise YMCA TKD School competed in the 2019 Winter Nationals sponsored by the American Taekwondo Foundation held Saturday, and won first place in the Demo Team competition.
Sixteen YMCA martial artists also competed in the tournament, competing in forms and sparring in the tournament that drew over 120 participants from ATF schools around the southeast.
The first ring of the day featured 3rd Degree & up Black Belt men usually the first contested in order to free up the senior black belts to help judge other rings. School owner and chief instructor Michael Dreilinger, 4D, won 1st in forms and 2nd in sparring with his longtime head assistant instructor Logan Stewmon finishing 2nd in forms and 1st in sparring. Logan also tested for his 4th Degree Black Belt the night before in front of all the ATF 6th Degree and higher board of judges.
Dong Sun Ko won 1st place in forms and 1st place in sparring in the Executive Mens (46+) ring while Carol Dreilinger finished 3rd in forms and 2nd in sparring in the Executive Women’s ring — both Dong Sun and Carol are current ATF National Champions in their respective divisions and are competing to defend their titles.
Jackson Ludlam, also a current ATF National Champion, competed in the Black Belt Boys 11-12 ring against his longtime rival and teammate Antonio Carlton. Jack got the best of Antonio this week, winning 1st and 1st in forms and sparring with Antonio finishing 3rd in forms and 2nd in sparring. Jack’s big sister Lindsey Ludlam finished 3rd in forms and 2nd in sparring in the Black Belt Womens 1-2 Degree ring while Marcus Whiting competed against his teammate Eli Howell in the Black Belts Boys 13-15 ring … Marcus placed 2nd and 2nd while Eli finished 3rd in forms and 4th in sparring. Marcus’ little sister Jaden placed 3rd and 3rd in the Black Belt Girls 11-12 ring while dad Glenn placed 4th and 4th in the Black Belt VIP Mens 1-2 division.
After the black belt competition concluded, the tournament begin the board breaking competition. Rings are determined by the difficulty factors associated with the techniques used by the contestants in their -station board breaking routines. Three YMCA black belts and three colored belts competed in the board breaking with Carol Dreilinger winning 2nd; Eli Howell finishing 3rd; Jaden Whiting finishing 1st and colored belts Aaron Biddle placing 2nd; Nickolas Biddle placing 2nd; and mom Tara Biddle placing 1st.
Lindsey Ludlam did a stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at the beginning of opening ceremonies, which were followed by the Demo Team Competition and the color belt rings. Five color belts from the YMCA competed and did themselves and the School proud, Aaron Biddle finished 2nd in forms and 1st in sparring; Madelyn Biddle finished 2nd in forms and 3rd in sparring Nicholas Biddle finished 4th in forms and 3rd in sparring competing in the ring with Josh Smith who finished 2nd in forms and 2nd in sparring, and Tara Biddle who finished 1st in forms and 1st in sparring.