Grove's hidden gem, GroveFit Gym, is home to some of the International Taekwon-Do Federation's best upcoming fighters.
Cody Springsguth Sr. is the owner, head instructor and seventh degree dan or blackbelt. On Saturday, September 14, Springsguth took five athletes down to the Lone Star Invitational in Midlothian, Texas.
"It was fun, there were people from all over the U.S. there," said Springsguth. "Half of the team from the men's Team USA were there, that's a big reason that we took Cody [Jr.] down there because we knew that he would be competing against people on his level."
Springsguth said he chose this tournament because of friends who had previously attended the invitational.
The students competed in four different events, patterns, sparring, breaking and fly over side kick. Patterns is a discipline that requires students to perform patterns or moves to display their technique. Sparring is a two minute fight, in which students score one point for a punch to the body or head, two points for a kick to the body or three points for a kick to the head. Breaking is the art of breaking boards either with the hand or the foot. Fly Over Side Kick is a contest to see who can perform the most impressive kick while breaking a board.
Jorge Velazquez won first in sparring and first in breaking. Velazquez was also awarded Grand Champion of his category.
Cody Springsguth Jr., a third degree dan, won first in sparring and second in breaking.
Laird Thompson, a 7th geup, won first in sparring and first in breaking.
Jase Hanna, a 9th geup, won first in sparring and second in patterns.
Ben Kirby won first in sparring and first in fly over side kick.
"They did their job, I did my job," said Springsguth.
Two of the students impressed Springsguth. Thompson and Hanna are both sixth-graders at Grove Upper Elementary competing in their first tournament and had very little sparring practice, due to the lack of same level competition. Both students were able to aptly earn two medals each.
"It's a fistfight, there is bloodshed," said Springsguth. "One of the moms told me 'four years of wrestling never prepared me for this'."
Despite the violent nature of the sport, taekwon-do students are often called the peaceful warriors and are governed by five rules:
• I shall observe the tenants of taekwon-do
• I shall respect the instructor and seniors
• I shall never misuse taekwon-do
• I shall be a champion of freedom and peace
• I shall build a more peaceful world
GroveFit Gym offers taekwon-do, muaythai classes, Crossfit style workouts and are adding jujitsu classes.
For more information on GroveFit classes or taekwon-do, call 918-791-3373 or stop by GroveFit Gym.