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April 01, 2010 3:39 am

Lone Wolf hosts 17th annual tourney

Written by Tribune Staff

More than 150 competitors representing 19 martial arts schools from Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana attended the 17th-annual taekwondo championships hosted by Lone Wolf Taekwondo. Participants took part competing against each other in forms, Olympic-style sparring and board breaking.

The championships were held March 20 in Cabre Gymnasium on the campus of Northwest College.

Divisions were broken up based on age, gender, size and experience. Competitors ranged from 6 to 55 years of age.

The sparring competition was regulated by the World Taekwondo Federation and followed the Olympic-style sparring rules for engagement. All competitors were required to wear safety equipment to eliminate injures while competing.

During the halftime celebration, tournament director Chris Ivanoff awarded special plaques to Doug and Lisa Siggins of Powell for outstanding contribution, Brice Cady from the Billings Martial Arts Academy for his work as outstanding official, Bonnie Martinell from Bridger, Mont., for outstanding instructor and Albert Vigil, of Worland, for outstanding martial arts school.

Ivanoff also expressed his deep appreciation for the parents, competitors and instructors for their commitment and asstance in making the tournament a success.

“This community has bent over backwards to support taekwondo over the past five years and this year was no exception,” Ivanoff said.

Ivanoff and Lone Wolf students provided an enthusiastic demonstration of skills consisting of board breaking, flying kicks, controlled kicking, punching and blocking techniques choreographed to music.

“This is the finest martial art demonstrations I have seen in many years,” Ivanoff said. “The students worked extremely hard prior to the tournament and showed their talent.”

An estimated 500 spectators packed Cabre Gymnasium during the day to witness the events. Competition among the black and red belts provided some of the day's biggest excitement as they showcased their sparring and board-breaking skills.

“This was a day of perfect harmony in one building,” Ivanoff said. “Each competitor learned a further understanding of self-repect and humility. This tournament is about gaining new friends from other martial art schools as much as it is a competition.”