Tae kwon do students shine again
Tonganoxie Martial Arts instructor Rex Hutton's students continue to bring home trophies from tae kwon do tournaments.
Hutton said he can't put his finger on why the group has so much success at tae kwon do tournaments.
But he has a hunch that hard work has something to do with it.
"The talent amazes me," Hutton said. "I'm pretty hard on them as far as discipline. But I still can't figure out why we do so well.
"Maybe it's the water. Maybe it's the rural community. Maybe it's the school teachers, the coaches at school, the gym teachers. But all these kids really do well. And it's my job to take them to these tournaments and see how they do."
At the Joon Y Kim Tournament March 11 in Wichita, several students brought home trophies.
Wally Rachford finished second in sparring and form, while Patrick Rachford finished third in sparring and second in form.
Kyle Selanders placed second in sparring and first in form, Noage Gee third in sparring and second in form and Heath Martin second in sparring.
Dominck Mesias, meanwhile, placed third in both sparring and form.
Jessica Carlson was Tonganoxie's top youth with a first-place finish in sparring.
"Jessica Carlson is up and coming," Hutton said. "She doesn't lose too many times. She's very aggressive."
Of course, not all of Hutton's students are in elementary, junior high or high school.
Adults Curtis Campbell and Keith Carlson, for instance, also placed in Wichita.
Campbell finished first in sparring; Carlson placed second in sparring.
Keith Carlson is Jessica Carlson's father, which is another common trait with Hutton's martial arts academy. Hutton said tae kwon do attracts not just a son or daughter, but in some cases, an entire family.
Although the Carlsons and their fellow tae kwon do students were happy to win trophies at the Wichita tournament, they have another tournament coming later this month.
Hutton likely will send students to another tournament April 29 in Topeka.
"We'll probably have 30 students competing," Hutton said.