Seconds after receiving medal, 7-year-old Oscar Ulloa ran into the proud arms of his father, David, and held tight.
The two had a brief moment as they celebrated Oscar’s first-place victory in the Texas Valley Open Tae Kwon Do Championships held Saturday at the McAllen Convention Center. More than 300 competitors, including both children and adults, participated in the event.
The young martial artist had fought several fights in which he dominated his opponents. In his last fight, Oscar knocked down another competitor with a roundhouse kick to the face. After the fight, Oscar and his competitor shook hands and each congratulated their opponent’s coach.
“I feel good,” the young champion said. Before the fights, “I was thinking about which kicks to use, but I was confident I was going to win.”
The moments before Oscar’s fights, Ullola was a little nervous but said he was confident in his son’s skills. Oscar has been training three years in his native Reynosa.
“Some may think this is a violent sport,” said event promoter Mike Song, who has been practicing the Korean martial art for more than 30 years. “There is much more than kicking and punching; it’s a way of life. Students learn respect for each other, discipline, and to be fit.”
Competitors tested their skilsl in sparring as they fought each other for points that were given when specific body parts were struck.
Competitors also tested their skills in forms, a traditional form of practice in which the martial artist strikes and kicks as if fighting a number of opponents.