Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Boy a taekwondo phenom

Six-year-old achieves jr. black belt

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HE'S a highly skilled and disciplined six-year-old, and Saturday Anthony Contreras achieved his poom, or junior black belt in taekwondo.

Without breaking a sweat, the jumpy youngster went through his dragon patterns as a test for the poom belt.

Receiving a poom is a very rare feat in the sport for someone so young.

"I am happy," said Anthony. "I am happy and proud."

His teacher, Grand Master Chang Beck Choi, who is a certified World Taekwondo Federation instructor and owner of Choi's Taekwondo in Garden City, said he's never heard of a six-year-old achieving this level in his 40 years of teaching.

"Big deal, big news. I'm very happy and very proud this time. I'm very sure he's doing very good and very sure he'll get a good mark on his black belt test," Choi told the Free Press.

Anthony's mother Beth watched the test with 14 other family members.

She says although she was shocked when she was told of Anthony's achievement, she also knows how hard he's worked in 21/2 years since starting taekwondo.

"He's quite confident in his ability and he's quite strong with his kicks and everything."

A full black belt is reserved for athletes 16 years old and older, which is why Anthony received a red-and-black poom belt.

steph.crosier@freepress.mb.ca

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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 17, 2013 A3

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