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Jenks Martial Arts Students To Compete In Taekwondo Championship

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JENKS, Oklahoma -

A group of nine children and adults from Jenks Martials Arts Academy are headed to Florida to compete for a national championship this month. I stopped by to check out how they were doing and even tried a few moves, and safe to say it's a good thing I have a day job.

Nine Taekwondo students from Jenks Martial Arts Academy are packing their bags for Orlando, Florida. Starting on July 26, 2014 they will represent the United States, going head to head with teams from Great Britain and South America. The prize is a United Taekwondo Alliance Championship.

"I’ve been working all my life to get to this break and to get to actually be on the team and perform in different places," said Kade Hodges, Team USA.

Kade is a seven-year-old red belt from Jenks. Sophia a 12-year-old purple belt from Jenks and Katie is 13, a middle school student at Metro Christian, a first-degree black belt.

This is also a chance to showcase a sport that has helped shape who they are.

"It’s definitely brought me out of my shell. So, speaking in front of people. I don't have a problem with, I have to do patterns in front of people. Also discipline," said Katie Baker, Team USA.

Kids like Kade, Katie and Sophia have put in years of work, earning their belts.

I've never stepped foot in a Dojang, but I couldn't resist suiting up. I wanted to try my "hand" at board-breaking. After all, everyone else makes it look easy.

In Taekwondo, breaking a board is a requirement for earning rank and getting a higher color belt. I'm not gonna earn rank, but I am gonna try to break a board. Afterwards, still riding from that high, I decided to free spar with one of the students. I should have stopped while I was ahead. Let's just say I'm glad they are representing the stars and stripes.

"Definitely great competition and it'll just be really fun, and even if you don't win. I mean it's just great experience and good times," said Sophia Linthicum, Team USA.

They still would like to raise more money to help pay for the trip to Florida. You can donate by going to the Jenks Martials Arts Academy at 708 West Main or pay to take one of their self-defense classes.

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