Local Martial Artists Compete in National Championship
Athletes from East Coast Martial Arts in Edgewater and Annapolis took first place in "points sparring" and fourth place in "forms."
Local athletes from the East Coast Martial Arts (ECMA) studios in Edgewater and Annapolis took home first and fourth place in two national competitions last week.
Finishing first in “point sparring” and fourth in “forms,” master Erik Hollon and his team proudly faced more than 2,000 other taekwondo competitors from around the country in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) National Championship in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The only contest the local martial artists didn’t place in was “Olympic sparring,” but that didn’t deter Hollon from being elated following his team’s performance.
“We had high hopes but a largely inexperienced team—half of them were first-timers,” Hollon told Patch. “It was great.”
Only 48 athletes competed of the 700 that attend ECMA studios, medal recipients ranged in age from 7 to early 50s.
“They knew we had done well in previous years, so they were anxious and they were hoping to do well and they did—they did fantastic,” Hollon said.
After taking fourth in “forms” and not placing in “Olympic sparring,” coaches rallied the team for the final competition where they ultimately took first place and brought home a national championship—also known as the Chairman’s Cup.
“The coaches did a great job of getting everybody fired up. We used Facebook a lot to keep parents and everybody back home informed,” Hollon said. “[Winning first place] was pretty great. I knew we were going to have a great day about an hour into it.”
Hollon specifically thanked coaches and competitors Ashley Seborowski and Jason Webb, both received medals themselves while balancing the responsibilities of teaching younger athletes.
Seborowski, 17, took home a gold medal in her division while not allowing a single point to be scored on her—winning every match by “the slaughter rule,” Hollon said. Webb, 25, won a silver medal and put together two of his best national matches ever, said the head coach.
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