Competitors from the Jaguares Yom Chi taekwondo academy in Nogales took home 38 total medals from the Grand Phoenix Open event last weekend.

The event, hosted by the Arizona Grand Resort and organized by the Arizona representatives of USA Taekwondo, attracts more than 500 competitors from around the state and country. This was the second time Jaguares Yom Chi participated; the first was in 2019.

According to academy master Jimena Romo de Vivar, once this year’s participation was confirmed in July, her students got into full competition mode – intensive physical training, fight training, nutrition regimen, etc. – starting this month.

“Thanks to the support of the student’s parents, we were able to take 29 competitors this year,” she said, adding that it was almost twice the 15 students who competed in 2019.

In addition, she invited assistant coaches Carlos Angulo, Jr. and Ismael Villegas to help the team.

All 29 students signed up for fight competition, and 10 also competed in poomsae – a series of attack and defense forms.

“There were good and awesome moments during this event, where the team got together and stronger and the competitors did an awesome job in every fight or form,” Romo de Vivar said, adding: “It was amazing to hear the support of the families for more than eight hours in a row.”

Of the 38 total medals won in fights and poomsae, 18 were gold, 16 were silver and four were bronze.

“For a lot of them this was their first competition and they did awesome,” Romo de Vivar said.”

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