The Boyertown Area Times
Academy wins World Cup Open Martial Arts awards
Annual tournament brought martial arts competitors from five countries, 17 states
Ellixson’s Tae Kwon Do Academy in Boyertown competed at the 2023 World Cup Open Martial Arts Championship in Herndon, Va., on Jan. 15, bringing home many awards.
Held by seven-time world champion Sabumnim John Chung, the annual tournament brought martial arts competitors together from five countries and 17 states.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of the work this team put in to get the World Cup,” said Donnie Ellixson Jr., owner of Ellixson’s Tae Kwon Do. “This is a great start to our competition year.”
The group of 31 from Ellixson’s, including top martial artists of Ellixson’s Team Elite and several first-time competitors, competed in forms divisions and weapons divisions, which are prearranged routines of martial arts skill. These floor routines are judged on speed, power, skill, balance, confidence and showmanship.
In the creative/extreme forms and creative/extreme weapons divisions, students combined martial arts with jump kicks, spin kicks and gymnastics.
Students also competed in point fighting and continuous fighting.
Point fighting (sparring) is a game of tag where competitors are trying to score on their opponent by executing a vital kick or punch in a controlled fashion. When a point is scored, the match breaks and then re-starts.
Continuous sparring uses the same guidelines, but they do not have to stop when points are scored, testing stamina.
Another area the team competed in was board breaking divisions, where students complete five breaking stations. Each station is a display of martial arts punches, strikes and kicks. The
competitors are judged on focus, skill, creativity and level of difficulty.
In the adult black belt division, Dylan Swenk won first place in weapons. Swenk “razzled and dazzled the crowd with his amazing musical double chux (nunchaku) routine,” as described by the academy in a statement released recently. “Then, with tough competition, Swenk continued with a flawless forms routine to take first and went on to win sparring against three opponents to take yet another first.”
“Dylan is coming into his own and it’s awesome to see! Besides working at Ellixson’s Tae Kwon Do Academy
WORLD CUP 2023 AWARDS
ADULTS: Anita Graham: Third, weapons; first, forms; fourth, sparring
Mandy Hamilton: Second, weapons; first, forms; third, sparring
Julia Hansford: First, weapons; second, forms
Tabetha Miller: First, traditional weapons; second, open weapons; second, forms; second, sparring
Dylan Swenk: Grand champion, weapons; first, weapons; first, forms; first sparring
KIDS: Austin Butera, age 14: Third, weapons
Charlie Ellixson, age 12: Second, weapons; second, forms; second, sparring; first, team pairs
Piper Ellixson, age 12: Third, forms; second, musical forms; third, sparring; third, breaking; first, team pairs
Tristan Ellixson, age 15: First, musical weapons; third, sparring
Jordan Graham, age 11: Fourth Weapons, 1st Forms
Evan Lang, age 15: Third weapons; third, forms
Milly Liang, age 16: Second, weapons; second, forms
Michael McCloud, age 14: Second, weapons; second, forms; third, breaking
Harry Miller, age 14: First, weapons; third, forms; third, sparring
Jasmine Miller, age 7: Third, weapons; first forms; third sparring
Lexi Miller, age 11: First, traditional weapons; first, open weapons; second, traditional forms; first, open forms; first sparring
Anastasia Muzopappa, age 10: Second, weapons; first, forms; second, sparring
Nicholas Muzopappa, age 7: Third, forms
Myles Omlor, age 15: Third, forms; first, musical forms; second, sparring
Vinchenzo Ottey, age 10: First, weapons; first, forms; firs, sparring; first, breaking
Jason Robb, age 8: Third, forms; third, sparring
Adrielle Santiago, age 13: First, weapons; third, forms; first, sparring
Annaliese Santiago, age 9: Third, forms
Nolan Smith, age 13: Third, sparring
James Thivierge, age 16: First traditional weapon; first, open weapons; first, forms; third, sparring, second breaking
Kyla Weller, age 11: Second, forms; third, sparring 20 hours a week and handling college, Dylan still finds time to hit the mat, do his road work and hit the weights. He is a man on a mission,” said Ellixson, head coach of the team.
Ellixson’s Elite Team veteran Lexi Miller dominated her division by taking home four first-place wins and one second place.
“Lexi, her mom and her 7-year-old sister are at the academy training almost every day,” said Ellixson. “She puts time in on the mat and her performance shows.”
Intermediate competitor Vinchenzo Ottey took first place in every class in which he competed: weapons, forms, sparring and breaking.
“This young man was for sure in beast mode,” said Ellixson. “He continues to impress me and the team and is someone to look out for in the years ahead.”
Also, first-degree black belt teen James Thivierge took home three first-place, one second-place and one third-place wins.
“James is a force, a technician; he drills and drills and drills until perfection,” said Ellixson. “He cleaned up in Weapons and Forms but even more flawless was his impressive breaking routine to take 1st place. The crowd loved it!”
Also as part of this event, Sabumnim John Chung honored instructors and mentors of martial arts at an awards banquet. Among the honorees were Ellixson’s instructors Jana Ellixson, Tom Rutter, Dylan Swenk and Julia Hansford.
As part of the banquet, a “Kiddie Kai” Reunion was held, where cast members Tristan, Charlie and Piper Ellixson reunited with the cast of the hit Discovery+ TV Series “Kiddie Kai” and signed autographs for fans. The Ellixsons were featured in Season 1 of “Kiddie Kai,” a reality TV show that aired its first season in summer 2022.
Ellixson’s Tae Kwon Do was founded in 1994, by Donnie Ellixson Jr., a world-renowned martial arts expert who has won many awards and competitions. He has been named in the Who’s Who in the Martial Arts Hall of Honors, Chuck Norris Edition (2020) and has been inducted into both the Amerikick International Hall of Fame (2012) and the Pennsylvania Karate Hall of Fame (2019). Ellixson’s Tae Kwon Do Academy has a foundation deeply rooted in the five tenets of taekwondo: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control and indomitable spirit. In 29 years of serving the community, more than 4,000 students have benefited from the training offered at the academy.