S. Henry Cho's 38thAnnual
All American Open
by Benjamin Paris
Other Black Belt Sparring winners included the legendary Ron Van Clief (Senior), Isabel Rivera (Senior Women), Sonia Zandi (Women's Heavyweight), Debbie Lohmaier (Women's Lightweight), Jonathan Urbino, Joseph Selvaggio, and Jeffrey Walpert (11-13 year old Heavy, Middle and Lightweight, respectively).
The other Finalists in the Grand Championship Round were Huyen Dao, a student of Master Amos Johnson and the winner of the Women's Tae Kwon Do division; Traun Covington, a student of Master Hawk Frazier and the winner of the Men's Karate division; Olivia Sun, winner of the women's Karate Division and also a student of Master Roberts; and Jackie Singh, a student of Master Rafael and the winner of the Kung Fu division. Other Black Belt Forms winners included Joseph Agostino (Weapons), Jamie Alimorad (13 year olds) and Han Dao (14-16 year olds).
The Men's Black Belt Breaking Division was won by Nathaniel Grebb, a student of Master John Critzos. Debbie Lohmaier, a student of Master Jurgen Paterok, came all the way from Germany to win the Women's Division. Other Black Belt Breaking winners included Daniel Taddeo (14-16 years), Jeffrey Wolpert (11-13 years) and Elizabeth Selvaggio (9-10 years).
During the opening ceremony, Grandmaster Cho held a moment of silence to honor all those who lost their lives in the tragedy of September 11 th . After paying these respects, he turned to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the All American Open and American martial arts. This year Grandmaster Cho also thanked those martial artists for promoting good sportsmanship, discipline, and honor and commitment to the nation especially in these difficult times with homeland security.
In 1964, when the All American Open began, its early supporters included American martial arts legends such as Ki Whang Kim, Ed Parker, Richard Chun, Jhoon Rhee, Don Nagle, and Bruce Lee. The list of past champions of the All-American reads like a "Who's Who" of American martial arts. Chuck Norris, Michael Warren, and Herbert Perez all won the Sparring Grand Championship. The 2002 performances forged another link to this proud tradition and pointed to a promising future. This year's tournament rules have been amended to rule out the head as a scoring target for Pee Wees and younger divisions, as the tournament has remained faithful to its key mission of providing a safe and fair place for martial artists to test their skills.Grandmaster S. Henry Cho, Black Belt magazine's "Man of the Year" in 1971, has been a major figure in East Coast Martial arts for over forty years. He was the first Tae Kwon Do teacher in the New York area, and he has continued to promote the martial arts in a variety of ways. In 1964, he toured American and Canadian cities, demonstrating Tae Kwon Do for the Wonderful World of Sports. Grandmaster Cho has also appeared on many national programs such as the "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson and "Good Morning America." Today, he continues to lead S. Henry Cho affiliated schools all over the world.
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