One of Grove's hidden athletic gems has come to the surface.

GroveFit Gym, on Seventh and Hazel, is home to a taekwon-do training program. Owner Cody Springsguth Sr. and his son, Cody Springsguth Jr., have been coaching and competing for more than two decades.

"I started off in martial arts to better myself," said Cody Sr. "I stumbled into the competitions. Coming out of the military, coming from a very competitive nature, I got into the competitions."

Cody Sr.'s first competition was all it took for him to be hooked.

"I loved the contact, I loved the combat of it. I had no idea I would excel at it," said Cody Sr. "I had no idea it would be my profession."

The Springsguths love for the sport is rooted in Grove. Lee Snow was involved in the martial arts and began mentoring Cody Sr.

When Cody Sr. joined the Navy, he began competing professionally.

Cody Jr. said he was born into the sport. His first competition he witnessed was at 18-months-old in Canada. It was there that one of Cody Sr.'s friends was showing Cody Jr. how to kick and punch, from that moment he was hooked.

Both of the Springsguths are black belts. Cody Sr. is a VII Dan, which means a seventh level black belt, while Cody Jr. is a III Dan, or third level black belt. Cody Jr. will take his IV Dan test when he returns from Worlds.

"I'm coaching now. I was on the team years ago," said Cody Sr. "Now I'm fortunate enough to have my son on the team this year. I retired as the team captain and he was just nominated as team captain by his peers."

Cody Jr. said he is excited about competing in the International Taekwon-Do Federation's World Championships and was humbled to be nominated as team captain.

"It was a pretty cool honor," said Cody Jr. "It's my first time ever going to worlds, I played football for the last eight years, so I've been retired from the competition side of taekwon-do. I competed in Nationals this last year in Orlando, Florida and won that for my weight class."

Cody Jr. will compete on both Team USA and as an individual in sparring.

"It's my first year, so there's that anxious anxiety of going," Cody Jr. said. "It's somewhere I've always felt like I am meant to be going and always been at that level, but whenever it's your first year you always have those insecurities."

The competition will run from Monday, April 22 through Sunday, April 28 in Inzell, Germany. It features 1,234 black belt athletes from 64 countries competing for the title of World Champion.

"Landing [Cody Sr.] at World's is honestly what makes us one of the more unique gyms in the United States," said Cody Jr. "Our attitude is unique even compared to some of the top gyms in the United States.

"It started with [Cody Sr.] obviously, him just being in it and always wanting to be the best. The best in the gym, the best in San Diego, the best in California and eventually the best in the United States and the best in the world."

It was that competitive nature that caused the Springsguths to own their own gym.

Cody Sr. clashed with the gym he was training at and was asked to leave. But this turned out to be a positive thing when quite a few of the more eager trainees followed.

"We were dominating because of our attitude. Because of the attitude of what we expected inside the gym, of what we expected of them at home and what we expected of them in school," said Cody Jr. "He's the disciplinarian, where parents come and bring their kids. They don't care about being grounded at home, but don't tell Master Springsguth that you got in trouble at school."

Cody Jr. said it has been amazing to see how many of his friends and people who have come through the gym that consider Cody Sr. to be a father figure.

"Our guy from San Diego didn't have a father around a lot, but considers [Cody Sr.] his second father," said Cody Jr. "Between the mentorship and the leading of these young men and women, it's pretty awesome to see all of that."

GroveFit offers classes in more than just taekwon-do. They offer muaythai classes, which is comparable to American kickboxing, Crossfit style workouts and are working on adding jujitsu classes.

For more information on the sport, or to try a free class, persons interested may call 918-791-3373 or stop by the GroveFit gym.

U.S. Men's Team

V Dan

Joshua Archer

• two time Team USA member

• ITF World Cup Bronze Medalist 

• two time National Champion

IV Dan

Julio Carlos

• two time World Champion

• three time World Cup Champion

• four time Vice World Champion

• ITF Pan-American Champion

•Wako Pan-American Champion

• two time ISKA World Champion

• eight time Team USA member

• 15 time National Champion

Emanuel Carlos

• World Cup Champion

• two time Jr. World Cup Champion

• four time ITF World Championship Bronze Medalist

• ITF World Cup Bronze Medalist

• two time Pan-American Champion

• Pan-American Vice Champion

• eight time Team USA member

• 13 time National Champion

• four time Team USA coach

Elvis Price

• World Cup Champion

• five time Team USA member

• Team USA coach

• National Champion

• World Cup Bronze Medalist 

• Viking Cup Bronze Medalist

III Dan

Cody Springsguth Jr.

• Team USA member

• three time Junior National Champion

• 2018 Men's Heavyweight National Champion

Jeffery Wright

• ITF World Championship Silver Medalist

• three time Team USA member

• six time National Champion

Jorge Velazquez 

• two time Team USA member

Henry Adams Jr.

• Team USA member

• 2018 National Champion

I Dan

Baron Nunez

• three time Team USA member

• three time National Champion

Franz Bataille

• Team USA member