Powell played host to the 25th Annual Lone Wolf Taekwondo Championships earlier this month, welcoming 15 schools to what’s become the largest tournament of its kind in Wyoming.
“It was the most smoothly operated tournament we’ve had in many years,” said Lone Wolf Martial Arts Academy’s Chris Ivanoff. “Everything ran smoothly, everyone was comfortable. The competitors that came were some of the best we’ve seen in many a year. Everybody had a great time and made lots of new friends.”
Participants — who came from not just Wyoming but also surrounding states — competed in forms (poomsae) and medium-contact sparring. They ranged in age from 6 to 60, representing all belt ranks.
“A lot of the schools came from great distances, such as Missoula, North Dakota and South Dakota,” Ivanoff said, adding that the feedback he received was that everyone had a great time.
Sparring followed Olympic-style rules, and competitors wore protective padding for their own safety.
Taekwondo is “characterized by its emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks and fast kicking techniques,” explains a Wikipedia page on the martial art, adding “To facilitate fast, turning kicks, taekwondo generally adopts stances that are narrower and hence less-stable than the broader, wide stances used by martial arts such as karate.”
With tournament taekwondo, Ivanoff said, the focus is on learning, sportsmanship and having fun.
Lone Wolf had 30 students participate in the tournament, ranging in age from 5 to 50, and Ivanoff said each competed with distinction.
“I think all but one of our students who competed received a trophy for first, second or third place,” he said. “Everyone was really happy with how they performed, and it was a great boost to our school. By the end of the tournament they had all gained a lot of confidence.”
Ivanoff added that he hoped all who competed left the tournament with a sense of pride and accomplishment, as well as a desire to share their passion of martial arts with others.
“I’m hoping competitors gained confidence within themselves, as well as an appreciation and a desire to put in the work to get better technique-wise,” he said. “Our school is very family friendly with lots of families taking this together. We’re really proud that this is a family-oriented activity, as well as for competitive people who want to go to tournaments.”
Editor's note: Due to an error made by an editor, the original version of this story had replaced hyphens with the word "of." This version also removes incorrect information about the scoring system and corrects the spelling of a competitor's name.
Elisha Summers: forms fourth
Ginny Summers: forms second, sparring fourth
Lane Summers forms second, sparring second
Colin Walker: Forms fourth, sparring fourth
Brian Walker: forms first, sparring third ,
John Walker: Forms third, sparring first
Ruby Dalin: forms fourth, sparring third
Charles Arzaga: forms third, sparring second
Tanner Eller: forms second, sparring first
Christina Shorman: forms fourth
Tallin White: forms second, sparring third
Tayson White: forms third, sparring third
Troy White: forms fourth, sparring third
Ryan Matiela: forms second, sparring third
Keegan Ginest: forms first, sparring first
Gideon Partenheimer: forms fourth, sparring third
Gabby Partenheimer: forms fourth, sparring fourth
Zach Partenheimer: forms first, sparring first
Mr. Seth Partenheimer: Forms second, sparring fourth
Natalie Evenson: forms third, sparring third
Matt Evenson: forms third, sparring second
Nolan Evenson: forms second, sparring first
Jess Bakken: forms third, sparring second
Chute Cauffman: forms first, sparring fourth
Richard Mangali: forms third, sparring fourth
Logan Badura: sparring second
Reigan Badura: sparring first
Julie Hedge: forms fourth, sparring fourth
Michelle Hedge: forms fourth, sparring second
Cameron Holdsworth: sparring fourth
PARTICIPATING TAEKWONDO SCHOOLS:
Lone Wolf Taekwondo, Williston Taekwondo & Judo Academy of North Dakota; Sunlight Martial Arts of Cody; Livingston Taekwondo of Montana; Big Horn Academy of Powell; Rapid City Taekwondo of South Dakota; Martial Arts Academy of Billings, Montana; Cutting Edge Martial Arts of Bozeman, Montana; Missoula Taekwondo Academy of Montana; Progressive Taekwondo of Riverton; Laramie Taekwondo; Sturgis Taekwondo of South Dakota, Spearfish Martial Arts of South Dakota; Journey Martial Arts of Cody; and Montana State University Taekwondo of Bozeman.