Self Defense America students bring home medals
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Seven students from the Self Defense America martial arts studio in Copperas Cove brought home a total of 16 medals from the 16th annual South Texas Open Taekwondo Tournament in San Antonio on September 29.
The tournament was divided into two divisions, sparring and forms, with sparring and forms students competing by both belt color and age.
For five of the seven students, this was their first tournament competition, said studio owner, Master Jimmy Hogberg.
The other two students, brothers Jon and Jameson Seim, also brought home first place medals in sparring and forms, respectively.
Renz Philip de Guzman also brought home a first place medal in weapons, 2nd place in forms, 3rd place in sparring. He will also be testing for his black belt this month, along with fellow students Kyan Ramos, Jameson Seim, and Gabe Wheeler
For Hogberg, however, the occasion will be bittersweet as he says goodbye to another student and family.
“Unfortunately, as is common in a military town, Renz will be moving next month,” Hogberg said. “I have enjoyed having Renz and all of these students in class ranging from one to three years, and I’m glad I got to share a tournament experience with this team. I look forward to the black belt promotion this month and for the ones to come for the others in the future.
“I’m glad with things such as Facebook that we can keep up with people as they move away. The friendships these kids have formed will hopefully last a lifetime and the confidence they have gained through martial arts will help them in life. I’m very proud of them for not only their martial arts accomplishments, but more importantly how great of students they are in school and how nice they treat others. I thank their parents for all the sacrifices they’ve made and the great kids they’ve raised.”
Other students receiving medals include Elizabeth Carrillo, who took 3rd place in forms, and earned two 2nd place medals in sparring. Kyan Ramos, took 2nd place in forms and sparring. Renz Philip de Guzman, in addition to the first place medal, took 2nd in forms and 3rd in sparring. Jon Seim took 1st in sparring and 3rd in forms. Jameson Seim earned 1st place in forms, 2nd in sparring. Gabe Wheeler took 2nd place in forms and 3rd in sparring. Gage Straley took 3rd in forms and 3rd in sparring.