Rancho Santa Fe student wins gold at 22nd California Open International Taekwondo Championship


Nicholas A. Carlo, a fifth-grader at the R. Roger Rowe School in Rancho Santa Fe, recently won the first place gold medal in


(full-contact sparring). Nicholas competed in the 10- and 11-year-old heavyweight black belt division.

Competitors score points by punching to their opponent’s chest or kicking to their opponent’s chest or head. Four corner judges and one center referee determine whether the kick or punch delivered enough force to earn a point. Spinning kicks and kicks to the head earn additional points.

Nicholas is 10 years old and has been training since he was 5. He has been actively competing for more than four years. He will compete in December at the upcoming Pan Am Open International Taekwondo Championships held in Portland, Ore. He is partly sponsored by the NRG Matrix Warrior Fund, a nonprofit that aids up-and-coming senior and junior athletes. He trains under Master Hyon Lee at the Taekwondo Institute in Poway, who also trains some of the top senior taekwondo athletes in the U.S.