Student to participate in US Taekwondo Open

Sophia Davenport, a senior at SHSU, will be fighting in the U.S. Taekwondo Open. It is the largest international Taekwondo tournament for the U.S. It will be held February 15-18th at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fl. Sophia will compete in forms and full-contact sparring on Friday, Feb. 16, 2007. Full-contact allows knock-outs, but it is not necessary for a win. Currently, there are 15 fighters in the Women’s Bantam Sparring group with fighters from Chili, Korea, Romania and the U.S. (Sophia and one other fighter are from Texas.)

Meet Sophia Jane Davenport, she might not look imposing, but packed beneath her compact frame is a powerful fighter. She is a 2nd degree black belt and has been competing at the national level since 2002. In 2006, she won triple gold metals at the USSSA, United States Specialty Sports Association, Nationals. Those are only a few of her achievements. Sophia will be graduating in May, 2007 with a major in English and a minor in Mass Communication.

She discovered that she would be fighting less than a month away from the competition, due to another girl’s impending knee surgery. In preparation for the competition and the Bantam weight class weigh-in, Sophia restricts her diet to 1200 calories and day and undergoes intense physical training. She often does 1000 reps just for her abs alone.

She trains in Livingston at Pak’s Martial Arts Academy; Davenport also manages and instructs at Pak’s branch school in Coldspring, TX, at The Studio Connection. The program in Coldspring, under Master Don Holse, began in Sept. 2005. Coldspring currently has 33 students’ ages 5-32 years. SHSU Alum Jassen Holse, Master Don Holse’s son, is also a member of the USSSA National Team; he is a 4th degree Master.

Taekwondo is known for its emphasis on kicking techniques, which distinguishes it from other forms of martial arts, such as karate.

Physically, Taekwondo develops strength, speed, balance, flexibility, stamina and mental connection to the body in order to create one motion, even during complicated movements.

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