• 48°

Local martial artists take state titles

Members of Ross Taekwondo Academy’s competition team captured multiple wins Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Alabama Karate Circuit State Finals martial arts tournament in Fayette.

According to team captain Jay Russell, the victories at the state finals now insure that his team of students will bring home more than a dozen state championships in various age groups and experience levels.

A team of nine Marengo County residents brought home 27 trophies from the forms, weapons, point sparring, kickboxing and grappling competition that has been hosted by AKC in North Alabama for more than two decades.

“Last year, only the instructors were able to win state championship titles,” said Russell, who is repeating his 2008 championship in kickboxing. “This year we’ve got several students who are looking at state titles as well.”

Russell added that, out of the 11 members on the team, not one martial artist will finish the season with less than a fourth place ranking in the state. He said that the announcement of state championship winners will not be official until the AKC banquet in Huntsville in November. Just prior to that event, cumulative points for placing at tournaments throughout the year will be tallied and winners will be finalized.

Ross Taekwondo owner Ronda Russell captured first place in women’s no-gi grappling, second place in gi grappling, and second place in 18-29 black belt women’s point sparring divisions.

Jay Russell won first place in the 30-39 men’s black belt point sparring, first place in 18-and-up men’s black belt kickboxing, and second in forms divisions.

Other members of the team who placed were: Josh Williams, second place in 16-and-17 boys beginner point sparring, second place in forms, and third place in youth gi grappling; Emily Purnell, first place in 16-and-17 girls beginner point sparring, fourth place in forms, and first place in 11-and-up XMA forms; Jackson Morrison, third place in 10-and-11 boys intermediate sparring and third place 11-and-up XMA forms; Krissany Purnell, first place in 10-and-11 beginner girls sparring and second place in 11-and-up XMA forms; Brett Schroeder, first place in intermediate age 7 sparring, first place in team sparring, second place in forms, and third place in 10-and-under XMA forms; Alexzundria Abrams, first place in beginner-age-6 sparring, first place in XMA forms, second place in team sparring, and second place in forms; and Tyler Bowers, first place in beginner-age-7 forms, second place in XMA forms, and third place in sparring.

“Our students have really trained hard all year long, and we are very proud of what they’ve achieved,” commented Russell. “We’d also like to thank the families of our students for the support they’ve freely offered to both our team members and instructors.”

Ross Taekwondo Academy, 1613 Highway 43 South in Demopolis, martial arts team competed in AKC tournaments from February until September this year. For more information on the AKC check the Web site at “http://www.alabamakaratecircuit.com” www.alabamakaratecircuit.com.