BONIFAY — Local students from Bonifay Taekwondo USA will compete at the American Taekwondo Association’s 23rd annual World Expo in Little Rock, Ark., this weekend.
Among those traveling to Arkansas will be the Collins family from Chipley.
The Collinses have been competing at American Taekwondo Association tournaments since June of 2012.
Brad Collins and his wife Melissa, and their children Noah and Meladey, are all ranked in the state of Florida in several categories.
They have traveled through out Southeast United States competing in World, National and Regional events.
Also traveling to Little Rock from Northwest Florida are Philip Byrd, Lisa Hall, Ruben and Lorrie Laurel and their children (who are taekwondo students) Italy, Canyon and Anzli, Amber Wing and Master Wesley Wing.
Amber Wing, Hall and Byrd are testing for their fourth degree black belts at the World Expo.
The Collinses and Byrd will compete at the event. Collins qualified to compete in five divisions in the Tournament of Champions, and Byrd qualified to compete in two divisions of the Tournament of Champions.
Qualification to compete in the Tournament of Champions is based on tournament wins, and on winning district titles, said instructor Wesley Wing.
“The top 10 competitors from the United States, and the top 10 from countries all over the world, will compete in the Tournament of Champions for the title of World Champion.”
Wing won the title of world champion in 1990. These students are his first group from his Bonifay taekwondo school to win district titles and go on to the Tournament of Champions.
The Tournament of Champions features competitors from five continents and most U.S. states.
The World Expo conference will run until July 20. The group says as many as 20,000 people will visit Little Rock for the competition and training.
The team competition will feature the top teams who competed throughout the year and earned a spot to demonstrate high-flying stunts and performance martial arts.
The ATA was founded in 1969 by Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee. The organization has had its headquarters in Little Rock since 1977.