The 2015 tournament season began in February with the U.S.A. Taekwondo national qualifier in Las Vegas. Students qualifying to go to the Nationals were Martin Cordero, Jr., who won a gold medal, Maya Cordero who also won a gold medal and Connie Escobar who also medaled.
In May, Connie Escobar competed in the ITF (International Taekwondo Festival) which was held in the City of Industry, Calif. There were 1,200 competitors and Connie earned a gold medal for 1st place in her division.
June had two tournaments. The first was the U.S. Open Hanmadang (Taekwondo Festival) in Colorado Springs. The competition did not have sparring but had traditional Taekwondo board breaking and forms. The board breaking included knife hand, speed break (30 seconds, spinning hook kick), power breaking (number of boards) and high kick break. Creative and traditional forms were also part of the competition. Sally Henrie OConnell, one of the instructors at the Mesquite Taekwondo Center, earned gold medals in traditional forms and creative breaking. The creative breaking included single boards broken while Sally was on the ground and while standing, two boards at the same time with a punch and elbow and finished by holding her own two boards and breaking them with a knife hand strike.
While Master “O” and Sally “O” were at the Hanmadang, Martin Cordero, Jr., and Maya Cordero went up to Cedar City for the Utah Summer Games, Martin earned a gold medal and Maya earned a silver medal in sparring competition.
USA Taekwondo, the national governing body for US Olympic Taekwondo held the annual National Competition in Austin, Texas. The event went on for 6 days, had over 5,700 competitors with 18 rings running at the same time.
Connie Escobar, age 12, competed in sparring for her age, class and weight and earned a Silver medal. Connie comes from St. George, UT to train at the Mesquite Taekwondo Center. Connie had to be moved up one weight class because she was unable to compete in her original weight class.
Martin Cordero, age 11, competed in the youth sparring, 10-11, Blue Belt, under 30 kg against 30 competitors with 3 one minute rounds and earned a bronze medal. This was his first national tournament. Martin also had to be moved up one weight class because he was unable to compete in his original weight class.
Maya Cordero, age 8, competed in the tiger sparring, female, green belt but was unable to medal against 12 competitors. This was her first national tournament.
Master “O” (Bill OConnell) and Sally “O” refereed at the National Qualifier, ITF, and U.S. Nationals. Sally competed in the US Open Hanmadang while Master “O” refereed.
Students earned 11 medals in state, national & international tournaments.
Mesquite Taekwondo Center has classes at the Mesquite Recreation Center on Tuesday and Thursday, 4:30 and 5:30 p.m., and on Saturday at 9 and 10 a.m. with sparring at the 10 a.m. class. Classes are free for Recreation members and non- members can attend by paying the daily rate. This is the 15th year for the Mesquite Taekwondo Center. Classes are taught by Master “O”, Bill OConnell who is a 5th degree Kukkiwon Black Belt. He is assisted by Craig Mills who is a 3rd Degree Kukkiwon Black Belt and Sally Henry OConnell (Sally “O”) who is a 2nd degree black belt.