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Martial Arts: Students Win Medals

August 07, 1994

Local martial arts students have won five gold medals and one bronze in the National Junior Olympic Tae Kwon Do Championships.

Eight youngsters from the Marina Tae Kwon Do School of Martial Arts competed in the national championships, held in Chicago last month, putting in the best showing ever for the Marina del Rey school, according to instructor Keith Jones.

"This was the best year for us," Jones said. "I have learned a lot through experience and going to the championships for the last four years about preparing the team properly for competition."

He believes the key to this year's success was Saturday morning workouts, which were added to the regular weekday training sessions. From 7 to 9 a.m. every Saturday, Jones and a group of 20 students would run two miles and then do stadium stair running and practice tae kwon do exercises.

First-time national competitor and gold medalist, Christian Yap, 12, was pleased with his performance. "I was really surprised that I won. I think the key to winning is self-confidence," said Yap, who lives in Mar Vista.

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