Nicholas Carlo, a third-grade student at the R. Roger Rowe School in Ranch Santa Fe, recently won first place gold medals in Kyoroogi (full contact sparring) in both the 8 and 9 year old and the 10 and 11 year old black belt divisions. Competitors score points by punching to the chest or kicking to their opponent’s chest or head. Four corner judges and one center referee determine whether the contact was hard enough to earn a point.
Nicholas won his gold medal rounds by TKO. In both instances, a well-placed spinning back kick ended the fight in that his opponents were no longer able to continue. The event (held May 25 and 26) included more than 1,000 competitors and was held at the Industry Hill Expo Center in the City of Industry, Los Angeles. A few months earlier, Nicholas won first place at the 20th Annual 2012 California Open International Taekwondo (TKD) Championship held on Oct. 20 at the Velodrome located at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Nicholas is 9 years old and has been training since he was 5 and actively competing for over three years. He is partially sponsored by the NRG Matrix Warrior Fund and trains under the direction of Master Hyon Lee at the Taekwondo Institute (TKDI) in Poway. During Master Lee’s time as an active competitor, he was considered one of the U.S.’s top elite athletes and represented the U.S. Team at both the national and international World Championship levels. In addition to his teaching activities at the TKDI in Poway, he currently trains some of the top U.S. TKD competitors.