MILPITAS, Calif. – Filipino martial arts students of Generation Taekwondo in Milpitas were recently honored by Milpitas mayor and fellow kababayan Joe Esteves after they took home 10 medals at the 2015 USA Taekwondo National Championships over the summer.
These 15 students traveled to Austin, Texas this past July to compete and they returned victorious with five gold medals, two silver medals and three bronze medals.
While the medals and honor by the mayor was much appreciated Christian Cruz, or Master Chino, says he is more satisfied by what his students accomplished within themselves.
“I’ve know all my kids when they had zero confidence and I’ve known all my kids when they didn’t believe in themselves and all those kind of things and to see them recognize for their accomplishments,” said Cruz. “The medals are just a representation of the things they developed through time and that gives me the most fulfillment.”
Students from five to 18-years-old train at Generation Taekwondo and with every punch and kick they throw, they do it together.
“Everyone since most of the people are Filipino here we treat each other like we’re family and we want to bond together,” said assistant trainer Bryson Blade Barbadillo.
“We all push to achieve our goals,” said assistant trainer Shaianh Rose Nguyen. “All of us want to be national champions and see each other push hard and train so we all can reach our goals together.”
Master Chino, 26, who spent 21 of those years training under his father Master Henry Cruz, says that his school is not just about learning technique but also about overcoming challenges in and outside of taekwondo.
“If I can teach all these things it doesn’t matter to me unless the kids that I teach can pass it forward as well and help change the world because they’re the next generation to come,” said Cruz. “They’re the future.”
Some Generation Taekwondo students say they are motivated to return to the national championship next year to earn more medals and the chance to represent their schools.