Four hundred competitors from upwards of 30 schools congregated at Modesto Junior College for the VanBelle’s ATA Region 107 Tournament held on March 30.
The VanBelle American Taekwondo Association Black Belt Academy features locations in Modesto and Patterson, and has hosted this tournament since 2005.
Chief Masters Se Hyung Kang and Fernando Jaime were in attendance (both eighth degree black belts). Senior Masters Jordan Chreiber, Danie Owings, Derwin Yee and Josh Seagal (seventh degree black belts) were also in attendance, along with Masters Fernando Navarrete, Jay Kang, Alex Miller, Nicholas Schafer and Terri Strain.
Chief Instructor Blaine VanBelle felt the tournament went well, but what he was most encouraged by was the families in attendance.
“What I like to see is there are a lot of happy families out here. It all starts with that family support,” VanBelle said.
VanBelle Black Belt Academy had a total of 19 medalists at the regional tournament, including VanBelle himself. VanBelle finished first in forms, first in weapons, while getting second place in sparring and combat sparring.
ATA Instructor David Perry earned second place in forms.
Savanna Paradee and Monica Martin tallied first place finishes in traditional sparring and forms.
The combat team of Travis Shimizu, Bentley Fennell, Andre Tadios, Alyssa Tadios, Nathan Samson, Roberto “Tito” Lomeli, Matthew Castulo, Makayla Castulo and Reanna Rodriguez took third place.
Shimizu also placed first in combat sparring and weapons, and second place in sparring and forms individually.
Fennel took third in sparring. Matthew Castulo took first in combat sparring, while Makayla had a trio of top-three finishes with a first in combat sparring, and two second-place finishes in forms and sparring.
Tito Lomeli and Andre Tadios took second in combat sparring. Andre also had a third-place finish in sparring. Alyssa Tadios earned a first in combat sparring, and a third-place finish in sparring.
Reanna Rodriguez had four top-three individual finishes. She took the top spot in weapons, while earning second-place finishes in forms and traditional sparring. Her final medal came in combat sparring, in third place.
Isaiah Noriega finished with top marks in the XMA forms category, while earning third in sparring. Aaron Noriega took second in combat sparring and third in sparring.
Monica Martinez earned a pair of first-place finishes in forms and combat sparring.
Makai McMillan took second in forms and third in combat sparring.
Oliver Zavala finished second in combat sparring and Aaron Martinez and Jonathan Archilla earned competition medals.