NCTA Athletes Represent USA at 2013 World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships
by Dan Chuang
Congratulations to the current and former US National Collegiate
Taekwondo team members who competed at the 2013 World Taekwondo
Poomsae Championships, in Bali, Indonesia from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3!
Eight current and former collegiate national team members were
represented on the US National Poomsae Team this year.
Megan Yi (2013 collegiate team) competed in the female under 29
individual division and advanced to the semifinals. She placed 13th
overall out of 32 competitors.
The female team of Carissa Fu (2009-2013 collegiate team), Miyako
Yerick (2012-2013 collegiate team), and Michelle Chen (2013 team)
advanced to the finals, placing 8 of 18 teams and finishing 8th
The men's team of Long Nguyen (2011-2012 collegiate team), Huy Nguyen,
and Kody Han placed 9th in the semifinals out of 15 teams in the male
Under 29 team poomsae division, missing the finals by just 1 place.
Jason Hwang (2009 collegiate team) reached the semifinals in the male
individual under 39 poomsae division, placing 10 of 29 and missing the
finals by just two places. Hwang was coming off of a 2012 world gold
medal performance in the over 29 mixed pair division.
NCTA athletes were represented in the freestyle poomsae division as
well. Long Nguyen (2011-2012 collegiate team) and Kelsey Ha competed
in mixed pair freestyle and advanced to the finals where they placed
6th out of 13 overall pairs.
Long also competed alongside NCTA athletes Lance Supnet (2012-2013
collegiate team), Hazel Cruz (2012-2013 collegiate team), as well as
other US athletes Cody Han and Kelsey Ha in the mixed team freestyle
division. The team advanced to the finals, finishing 5th overall of 11
teams. The team was had earned a 2012 world bronze medal performance
in the mixed team division and just missed repeating that feat.
The US team finished 5th overall in the country medal standings with 2
gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze medals.
Serving as part of the coaching staff for the team were 2013 US
National Collegiate Taekwondo Team head coach Dan Chuang and 2012 US
National Collegiate Poomsae Team coach Huy Nguyen.
The 2014 Fall meeting for NCTA will be held over the phone at 3 PM
PST, on Sunday, November 10. The call-in phone number is (605)
715-4920 and the PIN is 9170652. Member schools can suggest agenda
items to NCTA Secretary General Vincent Lo at vlo at cs dot stanford
dot edu in advance.
The 2014 NCTA Championships has been confirmed to be held at UC
Berkeley in Berkeley, CA, on the April 4 weekend. In consideration of
saving athletes' and referees' time and money, there will not be an
additional NCTA Team Trials for the 2014 World University Taekwondo
Championship (WUTC) in Hohhot, China, held later that summer. Please
The NCTA would like to thank Mr. James Kim and Mooto USA (http://mooto.us) for their generous sponsorship. Mooto USA provided national team warm up jackets, uniforms and t-shirts for the 2013 National Collegiate Taekwondo Team on their training camp trip in Korea from Aug. 4 to Aug. 12, 2013.
The US National Collegiate Taekwondo Team traveled to South Korea to participate in a national team training camp from August 4 to August 12, 2013. The camp was sponsored by the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association (NCTA) and Mooto USA, and coordinated by NCTA president Russell Ahn in collaboration with the Korean University Taekwondo Federation. Fifteen sparring and six poomsae athletes traveled to train and scrimmage with their Korean counterparts.
(The US National Collegiate Taekwondo Team at Korea National Sports University)
Regarding the trip, President Ahn, "We were very fortunate to have KUTF's generous hospitality and coordination. On behalf of NCTA, I will continue to expand our international exchanges with various countries that are strong in Taekwondo to elevate our techniques and level of international competition experience. I appreciate all of our staff and athletes who worked hard to make this trip successful."
The team was fortunate to visit elite Taekwondo programs at Korea National Sports University (KNSU), Yong In University, Woosuk University, and Nazarene University. Each of these collegiate programs have produced Taekwondo world champions or Korean national team members within this past year. The US team participated in rigorous sparring/poomsae training sessions and match sparring with each of these schools.
Said women's team captain Aziza Chambers, "I really enjoyed this experience. We ... got to focus on training and gaining knowledge about how others train, so we could incorporate it into our own training/fighting style."
Men's sparring team member Jensen Ishida said, "The [Korean athletes'] training ethic and intensity was amazing, which really motivated me when I got back home. I was able to learn a lot about myself as a fighter."
Regarding the poomsae training, Carissa Fu said, “Having the opportunity to train this entire week with elite poomsae athletes afforded us the chance to not only learn from the best, but also incorporate our newly acquired knowledge in practice immediately.”
In addition to the University programs, the team had the unique opportunity to train with the Korean Unconventional Warfare Task Force sparring competition team, which contained several former Korean national team members. The US collegiate team was the first national team to visit the Task Force base and had the opportunity to meet the base commander, Korean Lt. Gen. Jun Gyu Jang.
On August 9, the US collegiate team participated in a televised friendly sparring and poomsae scrimmage with some elite Korean collegiate sparring and poomsae athletes in Chungyang city. The sparring team won 8 and lost 7 matches for an overall winning record, and split the male (loss) and female (win) tag team matches. The poomsae team went 0-3 against their Korean counterparts, who included two former world champions.
(Sparring and Poomsae scrimmage in Chungyang City)
Said head coach Dan Chuang, "All of the athletes really rose to the occasion at the scrimmage. After 3 days of hard training and match sparring, the athletes weren't at 100% but still performed very well and matched up very well with the Korean athletes."
The team also had an opportunity to visit important Taekwondo sites, including the new Taekwondowon park in Muju, which the team visited in advance of its opening in early 2014. The US team was the first national team to receive a tour of the new $500 million complex. The team also visited the Kukkiwon, World Taekwondo Headquarters.
(The US Team at the new Taekwondo stadium in the Taekwondowon in Muju)
The men's sparring team was represented by Jonathan Nguyen (Mesa Comm. Coll.), Simon Rodriguez (U. of Utah), Jensen Ishiida (U. of Hawaii), Thomas Rahimi (North Lake College), Alex Ahlstrom (Los Angeles Comm. College), Cameron Weber (Colorado State Univ.), and Phillip Yun (U. of the Pacific). Nguyen, a 6-time team member and two-time world collegiate medalist, was the men's team captain.
The women's sparring team was represented by Samery Moras-Angeles (U. of Utah), Jessie Lynn Bates (Central New Mexico Comm. Coll.), Aziza Chambers (Write State University), Gina-Louise Williams (Orange Coast College), Tasha Pruter (U. Missouri, Kansas City), Alexandra Cinque (Fordham University), Jacqueline Galloway (ITT Technical Institute), and Adrienne Ivey (Stanford University). Chambers, a 7-time consecutive team member and world collegiate medalist, was the women's team captain.
The poomsae team was represented by Jonathan Nguyen (Mesa), Megan Yi (U. California, Irvine), Brandon DeSouza (Middlesex Comm. Coll.), Miyako Yerick (U. Texas, Austin), Carissa Fu (Boston Univ.), and Michelle Chen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). DeSouza, a 2-time team member, was the poomsae team captain.
Team members who were unable to travel with the team were sparring athlete Tyler Sawyer (Santa Clara U.) and poomsae athletes Hazel Cruz (Santa Clara U.), Lance Supnet (Evergreen Valley Coll.), Alvin Jong (U. of California, Davis) and Albert Jong (San Jose State Univ.).
NCTA President Russell Ahn was the team leader, and the head coach was Dan Chuang. Other staff included team director Han Jin Do, sparring coach Marcus Santos, poomsae coach Kristi George, team managers Heidi Fagerquist and Andrew Suh, and team doctor Sherri Lashomb.