After a season delayed by the pandemic, four Sulphur Springs ATA Martial Arts students captured gold at the South USA District Championship Tournament last month. The invitational tournament featured the top martial artists in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Two of these competitors also qualified to compete for the title of World Champion at the ATA Tournament of Champions July 28-30 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Karisma Stegient, took home the title of District Champion in combat sparring for 2nd-3rd Degree Black Belts 13-14 years old. Her victory earned her entry to the Tournament of Champions. Ms. Stegient also won silver medals in Creative Weapons and Extreme Weapons. Mr. Daron Bilyeu won Creative Weapons and Extreme Weapons gold and will also compete for world champion.
Abraham Shadix earned victory in his combat sparring competition, bringing home the gold medal. This is the highest championship a color belt student can earn. Ms. Terri Lusher completed the day with a gold medal in color belt sparring.
Harleigh Stegient took the silver medal in combat sparring. Michelle Mejia finished just outside the medals in 4th place in her combat sparring division. Haley Hopkins and Alexis Carlow competed with great skill and honor, but were not able to medal this year.
The ATA World Championship Tournament will conclude the 2019-2020 season and also serve as a world level tournament for the 2021-2022 season. Competing in the opening tournament will be Daron Bilyeu, Susie Chessher, Abraham Shadix, Harleigh Stegient, and Karisma Stegient.
Local students with the Sulphur Springs ATA Martial Arts will be going to the ATA Tournament of Champions July 28-30 in Phoenix, Arizona.