Over the course of the years we have met many great martial artists, many of who are some of our closest friends. In 2010 we were introduced to Grand Master McNeely and Mrs. Karen (now Master Karen Gentry-McNeely). It didn't take long to decided GMM and the WTA were in line with our values and were headed in the direction we wanted to go... so we jumped on board and what a ride it has been!
It started in 2010, with training for the World TKD Championships to be held in Dallas, Tx the next summer. Gary and Landon were black belts and had both secured places on teams to represent the United States against 27 other countries coming to compete! Many long weekends were spent training with GMM and the other team members. They also worked with a strength and agility coach after our regularly scheduled tkd classes throughout the week.
Lots of hard work, sweat, and time went into preparing for the International Tournament in Dallas. This was BMAA's first time to ever compete in a tournament of this caliber. The set up was beautiful the night before things got started.
During all this training Braedon had just continued to train as usual. We'd not even considered that there might be colored belt divisions. We got to Dallas and discovered THERE WERE kids there his age and rank competing so he insisted we figure out how to get him registered. With about an hour to spare I had him registered and bought him a uniform off of the display in the lobby! Braedon Bourgeois (without his usual "tournament haircut") was ready to go! Also, this would be my first time to meet Master Anthony Kuntz, he was selling the uniforms, t-shirts and other equipment in the lobby. (So thankful he let us buy that uniform off of the display!!)
For someone who didn't know they were competing until that very morning Braedon did great!! He won 1st in forms then bumped up to black belt division to spar and won 3rd. His first "punch to the face" tournament. (and we forgot to tell him he could punch to the face and would also BE PUNCHED IN THE FACE. He figured it out pretty quick!! MOM OF THE YEAR, GUYS!!! lol) Needless to say Mr. Bourgeois and I were pretty proud.
Landon competed in individual patterns and sparring but the Three Man Sparring was the most fun of them all!! She teamed up with a young lady from Bossier and a young girl from New Jersey and together they took GOLD in 3 Man!
Mr. Bourgeois' team won Gold in Patterns, that was one tough division and the sparring was out of this world!! It was clear from that weekend on that wherever GMM took the WTA we wanted to be a part of that!
Through the WTA and the vast knowledge of Grand Master McNeely are able to learn more than ever, plus gain experience and instruction that we then take back to our students in a class setting. This increases the quality of the instruction we were able to provide for them. The WTA also makes these experiences and a higher level of competition available to our students too.
Since this started we have met MANY people!! We've been some really cool places and grown in ways we never knew possible!
When you are willing to put in the hard work, the payoff always proves worth it!!
Training in Plano at PSA for the 2015 International World Taekwon-do Championship in Roana, Italy!
We got to tour Italy with our martial arts family....
Made friends with martial artist from all over the world.
Brought home some beautiful "hardware"
Grand Master McNeely personally celebrates each accomplishment of those who train with him! He is proud of all those who share a passion for this sport.
Colton McNeely and Mr. Bourgeois and a whole lot of talent and trust!!
Took some really cool pictures and made a ton of memories!
Our Italian "family" who took care of us at the inn. They brought us home made sandwiches and snacks to the tournament so they could watch everyone compete!
Our Inn in Roana, the owner and family, friends for a lifetime!
(GMM and Great Grand Master Nam Tae Hi in 2011)
(Mr. Bourgeois and GGM Nam Tae Hi 2011)
Grand Master McNeely has so many cool stories to share. He's been to dozens of countries to compete over the years and has trained directly under some of the very first pioneers of tae kwon-do. Think of it as a family tree... if Mr. Bourgeois is your instructor, and GMM is his instructor and GMM trained under the very first pioneers of tkd, and the WTA is sanctioned by them, then when you achieve black belt you can directly link your "tkd lineage" back to Korea and the pioneers of tae kwon-do. Pretty cool, huh? Especially in an era when a martial artist can design themselves a patch and call themselves "official."
We've made some amazing friendships along the way!
People from all over the world! Anna Lois from the UK & Ms. Landon
Sharing it with our students, from the youngest to our oldest!! So far the record on that is 4 years old to 70 years old!! (love this picture of Gary and Harley, it has always been a favorite!
And the adventures continue!! A recent trip to Las Vegas to network and make some acquaintances!
Viva Las Vegas!!
And next up........
(Mr. Bourgeois pictured)
Taekwon-do at the beach!!!! We are training hard and getting ready for the WTA 2017 International Championship in Tampa, Florida!!!
It's going to be amazing and we'd love for you to join us!!! Get in touch with us if you'd like to know more!
p.s. The move is moving right along.... won't be long now!