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posted: 2/21/2014 4:26 PM

Warrenville karate team places at national tournament

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  • Zachary Self, Alex Raymundo, and Cristobal Morales represent the Tigers at the AKA Grand Nationals tournament in Chicago.Tiffany Self and Kathy Raymundo

      Zachary Self, Alex Raymundo, and Cristobal Morales represent the Tigers at the AKA Grand Nationals tournament in Chicago.Tiffany Self and Kathy Raymundo

 
Tiffany Self

Members of the Baekwoon Mu Sul Tigers, led by Senseis Jeremy and Elijah Talbott, have made their mark again. This time, 16 members of the team participated in a total of 42 events at the 49th annual AKA Grand Nationals karate tournament held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago this month. During these events, team members had top showings from 1st place to top 10 in their given divisions.

At the tournament, team members vied for trophies against top competitors from US, Canada and South America. More than 700 individuals competed in the AKA Grand Nationals tournament, in divisions based on age and skill set. The Tigers Team was represented in multiple age divisions--from six to fourteen years--and performed in a variety of events such as katas (forms) with and without weapons, and sparring against others of the same age and level of ability.

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"AKA Grands is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, sport martial art competitions in the US. Competition at Grands is always tight. You have competitors coming from all over the world to compete here. Some of these divisions will have as many as 29 competitors," says Sensei Jeremy Talbott. "The team performed well and learned a lot through watching their competitors and experiencing the weight of competing at the national level. This team has already given nationally ranked, experienced performers a run for their money, and I believe they will only get better with time."

About AKA Grand Nationals

The AKA Grand Nationals tournament is the longest-running tournament in martial arts history. The tournament is promoted and presented by Master John Sharkey of Sharkey's Karate Studio (Naperville, Ill.), and is the pinnacle of the American Karate Association's tournament schedule. In addition, the tournament is a 5A rated NASKA World Tour Event.

About the Team

Formed in 2011, The Baekwoon Mu Sul Tigers (Warrenville, Ill.), has grown from one team member to 18. In the 2013 season, the team produced four national champions and seven national top-10 competitors within the American Karate Association, one of the oldest tournament circuits in the United States. The team practices at LifeTime Fitness of Warrenville. You can find the Baekwoon Mu Sul Academy on Facebook.

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