2019 Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation
Southwest Regional Championships & Dan Shim Sa
By BrieAnne Stout
The 2019 Southwest Region held its
7th Annual Championships and Dan Shim Sa in
Albuquerque, New Mexico, on October 18-19, 2019.
Thunderbird Martial Arts, owned by Sabom Nim Thomas
J. Witterholt, graciously hosted the event. We were
pleased with the new event venue, The Field House.
The spacious, newly built facility with grand views
of the Sandia Mountains handily accommodated our
region's steadily growing numbers.
Many participants safely traveled long distances to
Albuquerque. Kwan Jang Nim John St. James traveled
from Atlanta, Georgia. We also welcomed Sunim Sabom
Nim Mark Farquharson (Colorado Tang Soo Do) from
Aurora, Colorado; Sunim Sabom Nim Peter Estrada (San
Antonio Karate Academy) from San Antonio, Texas; and
Sabom Nim Paul Dulaney (Cornerstone Martial Arts)
from Arlington, Texas.
The weekend began on Friday evening with the Dan
Shim Sa. A strong group of 9 testers and 18
reviewers rose above adversity and self-doubt to
shine that night. The test was conducted by Mr. Rick
Crouse (3rd Dan, Thunderbird Martial Arts), Mr. Paul
Lambros Lopez (3rd Dan, Thunderbird Martial Arts),
Dr. Alan Arrington (3rd Dan, Colorado Tang Soo Do),
and Ms. Meghan Farquharson (3rd Dan, Colorado Tang
Soo Do). Congratulations to Mr. Ben Roe (1st Dan,
Abilene Martial Arts), who won Best of Test honors
in the adult division, and Miss Avery Witterholt
(Junior 1st Dan, Thunderbird Martial Arts), Best of
Test winner for the children.
On Saturday morning, 72 participants competed in
Championships. In a special presentation, Kwan Jang
Nim promoted Master Peter Estrada to Sunim Sabom Nim. Sabom
Nim Paul Dulaney was knighted a Master in the
Federation. It was truly inspiring to watch the
promotion ceremony for these two Masters. Masters
Estrada and Dulaney have dedicated immeasurable
hours to training; both of their own minds, bodies,
spirits & emotions, and of countless students in
this region who have benefitted from their
perseverance. Congratulations to Mr. Rick Crouse
(Thunderbird Martial Arts), the Men's Grand
Champion, and Mrs. Amanda Crouse (Thunderbird
Martial Arts), the Women's Grand Champion. For the
first time, our region also held Demo Team
exhibitions from three participating schools, which
was especially exciting and fun for the spectators
and regional schools to watch.
Following competition, Kwan Jang Nim St. James
instructed a group lesson in advanced bong technique
outside under a gorgeous New Mexico sky with
enchanting mountain views. Next, each of the Masters
led breakout groups in specialized areas of martial
arts study. Sunday morning, black belts and
candidates were invited to a workout with Sunim
Sabom Nim Farquharson and Sunim Sabom Nim Estrada.
The attendees found these sessions highly valuable,
and they thank the Masters for their time and
The weekend was a tremendous success.
We offer a special thanks for Kyosa Desirae Cuevas
(1st Dan, Thunderbird Martial Arts) for coordinating
the event's many logistics, both big and small, and
leading our team of volunteers. Thunderbird Martial
Arts also extends their thanks to our parent and
family volunteers who were involved in helping make
this event a success. Tang Soo!!