Eleven team athletes from Pacific Fusion Premier Martial Arts have qualified for the Amateur Athletic Union Taekwondo Nationals.
The AAU Taekwondo National Championships will be held this July in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The athletes who qualified have also each medaled in both forms and sparring in Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced level categories, team officials noted, which the athletes were placed in based on their current belt rank.
At the regional championship held recently in Washington, members of the Pacific Fusion Martial Arts Sports Team fought for and won regional championship titles against local and regional teams.
The martial arts athletes train out of Pacific Fusion Premier Martial Arts on Sportsman Club Road, and have been attending state tournaments this year in preparation for Regionals.
All of the athletes have been practicing by attending regular martial arts classes at Pacific Fusion as well as special competition team practices, with training accumulating to as many as 10 hours a week, as well as continued home practice, team officials said.
Their hard work paid off at Regionals, and all the athletes placed first in their divisions to win the titles of Regional Champions.
It was a big accomplishment for Bainbridge, said the team’s coaches, Master Ken Aduddell and Master Stephanie Aduddell.
These kids are Bainbridge-grown, they added, and none of them had experience in competitive martial arts.
Each of the team members started competing over the past two years, and only a few of the athletes had ever been to a tournament prior to this season.
“It’s amazing to see how far they’ve come in such a short amount of time, and we look forward to a strong showing at the six-day AAU Nationals in July,” said the Aduddells.
Approximately 2,200 athletes are expected to compete at Nationals.
Bainbridge team members traveling to Nationals are Madeline Ahrends, David Ard, Sunny Gregson, Yuuki Inoue, Hannah Kress, Desi Mortell, Merida Prentice, Evelyn Safford, and Maddy Woods.
The athletes have set up a Go Fund Me page at to raise travel funds for Nationals; search for “Donate PFMA Competition Team.”