Vegas Baby! The 2017 US Open is going to be at sunny and dry Las Vegas, Nevada. Master Chino and 6 of his competition team members will be traveling to compete at the coveted international tournament, attended by only black belts from around the world. His kids have been training hard for the even for over 2 months. In addition to their regular practices and scrimmages, he organized some cross training with TAEMA, Manila Taekwondo and M-Team.
The kids understand the gravity of the US Open because only black belts are allowed to compete. The glory days of local tournaments and colored belt completions will be a thing of the past for these competitors. Master Chino stressed, "The degree of complexity and competitiveness in black belt divisions such as the US Open is where real stuff happens. This is what I have been training these kids for." He concluded, "Expecting to win all the tournaments as a black belt is unrealistic. I've told the kids that hard work doesn't always translate to a win because they will be fighting or going against another kid who is either equally as equipped as they are or hungrier."
Russell Sambrano, Angel Garcia, Sydney Moon, Angelo Baraceros, Angeline Rosario and Troy Asia will be sparring on Tuesday and Wednesday. Only Sydney Moon will be competing in World Class Forms (poomsae) on Tuesday. To Master Chino, the stakes are high but he would rather know the kids will leave with the experience on what to do next time. He doesn't like to give them false hopes that just because they did amazing as colored belts that they will come out with golds as a black belt. He reiterated and stressed, "The continuity of hardworking and determination is what will be the eventual factor for these kids to be successful. I'd like to wish all our athletes good luck. And remember, the ultimate goal to learn from this experience. Live in the moment and appreciate this opportunity."