RMMA rocks in Zootown

They came from Utah, Idaho, Washington and all over Montana braving harsh winter weather to make up a 344 competitor contingent for the second annual Zootown Kickdown Taekwondo tournament at the University of Montana Auxiliary Gym

The ZTKD tournament is the brainchild of Master Jake Parker and his wife Stacy owners of the Missoula Taekwondo Academy and is sanctioned by the Montana Taekwondo Association. It is a first in many ways — it is represented by a different animal each year — the Tiger last year and the Guerilla this year.

It will be run on a ten year format with participants that compete in all ten tournaments will receive a complete and totally free tournament on the eleventh year. As evidenced by the growth from last year it is becoming increasingly popular. Being an extremely well run tournament that combines fun and keen competition accounts for that growth. This year they revived a board breaking which was very popular among all students. The growth was facilitated by the addition of two rings bringing the total to six. The tournament ended in time for those traveling had time to make it home fairly early but most of all everyone had a great time and enjoyed great competition under professional supervision.

Rocky Mountain Martial Arts took 17 competitors to the event and represented themselves very well. Black belts Sara Senst, Ashlee Rex and Jeff Beckett headed the coaching duties and did great job with the help of some knowledgeable like Glen McGillen, Tristan Johnson and James Gardner.

Ashlee did double duty keeping stats and place finishes. The students responded by trying their hardest and working through some trials such as tough bouts some hard hits and in Chase Nelson’s case of eating a hot dog that did not set well causing nausea he struggled through and did not quit. RMMA students did Butte and southwest Montana proud.

Kaiden Gardner – age 7 – yellow belt w/green – 1st sparring and 2nd forms

Glen Gifford – age 14 – – yellow belt – 3rd in bot sparring and forms

Jason Gifford Jr. – age 7- yellow belt w/ green stripe 4th sparring 3rd forms

Neela Grinolds – age 8 – green belt -2nd sparring – 3rd forms and 2nd in board breaking

Colton Johnson – age 5 –  white belt 3rd in both sparring and forms

Tryston Johnson – age 8- green belt w/blue stripe – 3rd in three events –sparring, forms and board breaking.

Eric Loos – age 9 – yellow belt – 3rd in sparring and 2nd in forms and board breaking

Heather Martin – age 13 – white belt – 3rd in sparring, 1st in forms and 3rd in board breaking

Marcus Page – age 6 – yellow belt – 3rd in sparring, 1st in forms and 1st in board breaking

Montana Parker – age 7 – green belt – 2nd sparring, 1st in forms and 3rd in board breaking

Ethan McGillen – age 10 – yellow belt – 1st sparring and 1st in forms

Kaden McGillen – age 7 – yellow belt – 2nd sparring and 1st in forms

Cora Rauch – age 9 – yellow belt – 3rd sparring, 2nd forms and 4th in board breaking

Brianne Rauch – age 11 – white belt – 3rd sparring, 4th in forms and 3rd in board breaking

Chase Nelson – age 11 – blue belt w/red stripe – 4th in sparring and forms and 1st in board breaking

Sarah Hazel –age 9 – white belt – 1st in sparring and 4th in forms

Next on the Agenda is the Electric City Taekwondo Championships March 15 in Great Falls.

— Submitted by Master Jim Miller

RMMA students Heather Martin, with red hair, and Brianne Rauch in the holding area during Saturday’s competition.

RMMA student Cora Rauch partakes in the board-breaking competition.

RMMA student Marcus McMullen crashes at the end of a long day competing.



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