Two Taekwondo students brought home first place finishes at a tournament in Pequot Lakes Dec. 2. Both study at Little Falls Taekwondo, under Master Tim Crocker.
Travis Bellefeuille, 10-year-old son of Molly and Kristopher Bellefeuille of Swanville, is a brown belt. He placed first in his age group’s sparring competition, second in patterns, where judges evaluate a martial artist’s form, and third place in board-breaking.
“It was really nice,” Bellefeuille said about the tournament. He had one opponent in the sparring competition and said he said he enjoyed winning the match.
“I was really happy,” Bellefeuille said.
He said the most important part of Taekwondo that he’s learned isn’t about the martial art techniques, but about the manners and respect for others that goes with it.
Bellefeuille said he was also happy he managed to reach his goal of winning something at a competition.
For the second time, 14-year-old Olivia Wood took first place in all three competitions she entered, sparring, patterns and board breaking.
Wood, a first-degree black belt recommended, because she is under the age of 16, said she got into Taekwondo after becoming tired of dance.
She decided to follow her brother into Taekwondo and then developed a passion for it that led to her getting a part time job in it as one of Crocker’s youth instructors.
Wood said the Taekwondo community is one of the reasons she’s been so dedicated to the sport.
“I enjoy the sport, and there’s a lot of support. It’s kind of like a little community,” Wood said.
Wood said the work that she has put in over the years has paid off.
“At first I wasn’t that great at it. But over the years, I’ve gotten better at competing,” Wood said. “My patterns are crisper and I’ve worked harder for the first place trophy.”
Wood, who is the daughter of Steve and Laura Wood of Little Falls, is now working toward a second degree black belt, and will test for it in August, 2017.