For the third year in a row, students of Pate’s Tae Kwon Do Academy in Riverview attended the 2009 AAU Tae Kwon Do National Tournament held at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale last month. The size of this year’s tournament, was approximately 1,800 competitors and was broken down into the following categories: novice, intermediate, advanced and black belt. The academy earned two gold and one silver medal as well as three bronze medals, which speaks highly of the academy’s strength in the sport.
First place winners in the Sparring competitions were 10-year-old Nigel Hart and 6-year-old Grace Stalker. While also sparring, 10-year-old Chasen Brown placed third. Twelve-year-old Mikeala Hemenway placed second Sparring and third in Forms. In the adult competition, Trish Hemenway placed third in Sparring and Forms. All of the students reside in Riverview, while Hart has been training at the academy for the past four years.
Not surprised by the success of his students, Head Instructor Robert Pate was very pleased of his team’s performance. “Our students competed in Olympic-style Sparring and Forms and always work hard to produce great results when participating in tournaments,” Pate said, adding, “They are proud and feel a great sense of accomplishment.”
Pate’s Tae Kwon Do Academy, located at 11266 Boyette Rd. in Riverview, focuses on the teaching of self-defense, self-discipline and physical conditioning, which are being taught to both children and adults, while offering martial arts classes in the evenings for the whole family. After-school care and summer camps for children are also a part of the program. “For our after-school program, we offer transportation from several schools in Riverview, and the children participate in martial arts classes every day,” Pate said.
Pate has been studying martial arts for over 20 years and, in 1992, won Grand Champion at the USA Tae Kwon Do Championships in Jacksonville, Florida. He also won a silver medal at the 1994 World Tae Kwon Do Championships in London, England. “My passion is to share my expertise in Tae Kwon Do and to motivate and encourage my students toward a true sense of self-accomplishment,” he said, mentioning that some of the many benefits of his martial arts program include enhanced self-esteem, confidence, discipline, the learning of self-defense and strengthening of the mind and body.
While celebrating the recent success, the students looked forward to training for the upcoming competition scheduled to be held in at Walt Disney World in October.
For more information about Pate’s Tae Kwon Do Academy, please visit www.patesmartialarts.com or call the academy at 758-3934.