Clayton girl competes at Taekwon-Do world championships in Argentina

Seventh-grader Faith Hewes of Clayton competed as a black belt in the third Unified International TaeKwon-Do Federation World Championships, held in Corrientes, Argentina. (Submitted photo/Hewes family)

CLAYTON — Taekwon-Do black belt Faith Hewes of Clayton recently competed in the third Unified International TaeKwon-Do Federation World Championships, held in Corrientes, Argentina.

The tournament hosted competitors from over 20 countries including Australia, Great Britain, Peru, Canada, Colombia, and the United States. Competitors showed their technique in traditional patterns, board breaking and sparring.

The seventh-grader has been training in TaeKwon-Do since she was 3 1/2 years old at Flying Dragon TaeKwon-Do in Smyrna. Her master instructor and father, Master Jim Hewes, has watched her grow and mature as a martial artist.

“Faith has a desire to do her best in whatever she does and strives to get her techniques as crisp as possible,” he said “She listens to all the different instructors and coaches and tries to incorporate what they tell her into her moves.”

For 18 months Faith trained with the U.S. Team at various martial arts facilities up and down the east coast from North Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey and Connecticut. Each of these trainings included drills for sparring led by former world champions, pattern repetition for both individual and team events by various master instructors including Grand Master K.S. Hwang, as well as board breaking protocol for power and specialty techniques.

From Aug. 6-14, Faith traveled with the U.S. Team to Argentina to compete in four competitions; individual pattern, individual sparring and team pattern in two different age categories. Faith placed third in individual pattern going against competitors from Argentina and Peru. She placed first in her weight/age class for individual sparring winning the finals match in overtime.

The team pattern consisted of three girls from three states (New Jersey, Delaware and North Carolina) working together in synchronized form. They took gold in the cadet age bracket (under 13) and silver in the junior girls’ bracket (13-17). They were the youngest group competing in the junior bracket.

Overall the U.S. Team returned with 29 gold medals, 23 silver medals and 25 bronze medals. In addition, the Veteran Men’s and Women’s won overall champions in their brackets, as well as Senior Men and Women the combined medal count gave the US Team the Overall Tournament Champion Cup.

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