Friday, July 8, 2011

Local martial artists take first place at U.S. Open

First place winners,  left, Cassidy Lawless, Ale' Shepard, CameronTille, Paige Oswald and Tiffany Butz. (provided photo)
Five local martial artists from the Ming Wu Martial Arts academy took home top honors with five first place rankings at the Martial Arts U.S. Open competition recently. The U.S. Open is an annual world level tournament held at Disney’s Coronado Springs. This year the event had several thousand competitors.

Paige Oswald, a 17-year-old 3rd degree black belt and daughter of Ming Wu owner and founder Jessie Vi and Miranda Oswald, captured a first place in self defense and a fifth place in Traditional Forms.

Paige is no stranger to competition. Last November she won three gold medal world titles at the World Martial Arts Games.

Winning first place in Creative Forms were Cameron Tille, 20-year-old brown belt; Ale’ Shepard, 17-year-old purple belt; Tiffany Butz, 14-year-old brown belt; and the youngest Ming Wu competitor this year, 7-year-old blue belt Cassidy Lawless.

Cassidy, Cameron Tille and Ale’ Shepard also took fourth place honors in traditional forms. Ale’ also won a fifth place in Self Defense.

Other black belt competitors from Ming Wu:

Brandon Ramirez, 15, with fourth place in Traditional Weapons; Michael Santoni, 14, with two second place wins in Creative Weapons and Traditional Weapons, as well as two fifth place wins with Creative forms and Traditional Forms;

William Quevedo, 15, with fourth place in Traditional Forms; Roman Goldsby, 11, with fourth in Creative Weapons, fourth in Creative Forms and fifth in Traditional Forms;

Joey LaPerriere, 9, with a third in Traditional Weapons and third in Traditional Forms;

Samantha Chaulsett, 9, with a second in Creative Forms and a third in Traditional Forms;

Derrick Lezama, 8, with fourth in Creative Weapons, fourth in Traditional Weapons, fifth in Creative Forms and second in Traditional Forms.

Other under belt competitors bringing home trophies were Vincent Butz, Olivia Priovolos, Emily Wood and Victoria Butz.

These 17 competitors represent the largest showing that Ming Wu has ever had at the U.S. Open. The students all attend one of two Ming Wu academies located in Sarasota at Fruitville and Beneva or in Lakewood Ranch at Lorraine and S.R. 70.

Ming Wu will be opening a third academy next month in Lakewood Ranch at the Market Street shopping center off University.
The crew from Ming Wu. (provded photo)

Cassidy Lawless. (provided photo)

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