A small group of West Haven martial artist who train at the West Haven Academy of karate competed in the 6th Biennial Worldwide Tang Soo Do World Championships, which were held at the DoubleTree Hotel Marriott at Universal in Orlando Florida in late July. Seven of the nine participants from West Haven were able to capture either gold, silver or bronze medals in their respective divisions. There were three individual events, Weapons, Empty-hand Form and Free Sparring. There were also two-team events: Team Form and Team Sparring.
Leading the West Haven group was Evan Diaz who was able to win three gold medals in weapons, empty-hand form and free-sparring in the 9- and 10-year-old red belt division. Also winning gold medals was Carlton Streete – men’s black belt empty-hand form; Yvonne Streete – women’s 40-and-over black belt sparring. She also won the Grand Championship in women’s 40-and-over black belt sparring. Roman Vogel captured gold in both forms and sparring in the men’s green belt division.
Shane Clavaton won silver medals in empty-hand form and weapon forms. Carlton Streete won a silver medal in men’s black belt heavy-weight sparring. Emanuel Guallo won a silver medal in junior black-belt sparring and a bronze medal in junior black-belt empty-hand form. Isaiah Carty won a silver medal in junior black belt empty-hand form, and a bronze medal in junior black-belt sparring./
The USA sparring and form teams did a great job overall in the team competition. Each men’s sparring teams was comprised of five black-belts or masters. Both Streete and Clavaton were members of the USA men’s black-belt sparring team that won the silver medal.
The final match between USA and Netherlands was as close and as exciting as it gets. After five fighters paired off in one-on-one competition the match was tied. A sixth match was fought, and it also ended in a tie. It was decided that the two competitors who fought the sixth match would fight another one-minute round. This also ended in a tie. Finally, it was decided that the tie would be broken by a “sudden victory” match (first competitor to score wins). Both competitors clashed each throwing a reverse punch that seemed to hit the intended target. The judges were asked to make a call as to who scored and three judges raised the Netherlands flag and two judges raised the USA flag. The match was decided by a single flag.
The USA women’s sparring team had a great outing, taking the gold medal after defeating the women’s team from Scotland. The USA women’s team went undefeated throughout the entire team competition. Each women’s sparring team is comprised of 3 black-belts of masters. Members of the USA Gold Medal Team were Master Holly Holt, Master Theresa Paskett and Kenzi King. The USA’s second entry into the Women’s Team Sparring event was able to capture the bronze medal. The team members were: Master Maria Spratt, Hanna Cheek, Leandra Guerro. Finally, the USA Form teams won gold and bronze medals.