Photo Caption: Connie Escobar with her parents, Gina and Carlos and Master “O”
The US National Tae Kwon Do Tournament was held in Dallas, Texas from June 29 thru July 4. The tournament was sanctioned by USA Tae Kwon Do, the governing body for the US Olympic Team. There were over 3,500 competitors at the tournament, some competing in more than one event. Events sanctioned were team demonstration, board breaking, forms and sparring. There were sparring matches every day starting with the junior students and ending with adult black belt senior students.
For the youngest lower belt students, no head kicks are allowed. For the middle brackets, light contact head kicks and for the seniors, full contact. Scoring was done with Daedo sensor chest protectors and 3 corner judges.
Connie Escobar, age 9, who trains with Master “O” (Bill OConnell) at the Mesquite Tae Kwon Do Center competed in the junior division sparring. After three one-minute rounds, Escobar was tied with the other competitor and went into Sudden Death for the Gold Medal Round, where the first point scored wins. Escobar was unable to score the first point but was able to win a Silver Medal.
This was Escobar's first National Competition and her additional reward when she returns to Mesquite is to receive a promotion to her next higher belt.
Escobar's instructor, Master “O” (Bill O'Connell) refereed at the event for six days and his wife, Sally Henrie O'Connell, worked as a volunteer score keeper and computer operator. There were 18 rings that ran continuously for the six days at the Dallas Convention Center.
Mesquite Tae Kwon Do Center is located at the Mesquite Recreation Center and has classes on Tuesday and Thursday at 4:30 and 5:30 pm and Saturday at 9 and 10 am. Students spar at the 10 am class. There are no classes in July and classes resume on Tuesday, August 7.
See additional Mesquite Citizen Journal story Tae Kwon Do Center Students Bring Home Medals