Teen Loses Taekwondo Tournament and Attacks Opponent’s Face

By Sensei Serge Sognonvi and Carmen Sognonvi, originally published at http://www.urbandojo.com/blog

It’s always disheartening to hear about martial arts students who behave in ways that contradict the teachings of martial arts, but this story is particularly distressing.

A 16-year-old black belt lost a sparring match at the 2011 Junior Olympics and National Championships held over 4th of July weekend in San Jose, CA.

Later in the day, he found his opponent sitting on the sidelines, and kicked him so hard in the face that the boy was hospitalized and needed immediate surgery.

More from the San Jose Mercury:

At the end of the match, the New Yorker was declared the winner when the Floridian lost points through deductions for fouls.

About 20 minutes later, witnesses said, the Floridian came back into the arena.

He approached the New York boy, who was sitting in a chair, had no protective headgear on and was scouting his next opponent.

Letting out a martial arts scream, the Floridian with a second-degree black belt whirled around, delivering a roundhouse kick to the face of the oblivious New Yorker, according to witnesses. Martial arts experts say this is one of the most powerful and dangerous kicks.

His bare heel struck the boy just below the nose, knocking out some of his teeth, witnesses said. Doctors later told the victim’s parents and coach that the foot missed by inches driving the victim’s nose bone back into his skull and killing him.

J.W. Suh, the coach of the injured athlete, said he was sitting nearby and heard the loud thwack of the foot striking the teen’s face. It sounded, he said, liked a foot hitting a leather target bag.

The police booked the boy on a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon but because the boy wasn’t gang-affiliated and not considered an immediate threat, the police cited him and release him to his parents.

Meanwhile, the taekwondo association is considering banning the boy from the sport for life.

What kind of consequences do you think the boy should face for his actions? And what do you think led to his attack? Can this be blamed on his martial arts instructor or parents? Or do you think he should be held solely responsible for his actions?

Photo Credit: purplemattfish on Flickr

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