Kindergarten to U.S. Taekwon-Do Nationals for Arvada kids

Landon Teran and Kiran Berry, both 5, placed first and fourth, respectively, in the U.S. Winter National Championships

Ryan Dunn
rdunn@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 3/30/21

Two students from the International Taekwondo Academy, based in Arvada, qualified for the U.S Taekwondo Nationals thanks to strong showings at the 2021 Winter U.S. National Taekwon-Do Championship. …

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Kindergarten to U.S. Taekwon-Do Nationals for Arvada kids

Landon Teran and Kiran Berry, both 5, placed first and fourth, respectively, in the U.S. Winter National Championships

Landon Teran and Kiran Berry practice their moves outside of Victor Teran's garage studio.
Photo Courtesy of Victor Teran
Posted
Two students from the International Taekwondo Academy, based in Arvada, qualified for the U.S Taekwondo Nationals thanks to strong showings at the 2021 Winter U.S. National Taekwon-Do Championship. The U.S Taekwon-Do Nationals will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in July.
 
Landon Teran, 5, won a gold medal in the patterns event at Winter Nationals and won a bronze medal in board breaking. Kiran Berry, also 5, placed fourth in board breaking. Their placements qualify them for the U.S Taekwondo Nationals, where they will compete against 6 and 7-year-olds.
 
International Taekwondo Academy master Victor Teran — Landon’s father — recently moved to Arvada from New Jersey, where his studio was previously located. While the Academy will move into a 2,700 square foot studio on West 80th Avenue in within the next eight weeks, Kiran and Landon trained for Winter Nationals in Victor’s garage studio.
 
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Victor has been teaching hybrid in-person and virtual classes from his garage studio. He currently has three in-person students and 15 virtual students but is hoping to grow the Academy once they move into their new physical space.
Regarding successfully preparing Landon and Kiran for Winter Nationals, Victor said the key has been repetition.
 
“Repetition is the mother of all habits,” said Victor. “All we do is repetition; we keep doing it over and over again. It’s OK for them to make mistakes, but when they make mistakes we start over again. It puts them in that mentality like ‘I don’t want to make another mistake because I don’t want to do it again.’ So, it kind of pushes them to be a bit more of a perfectionist.”
 
Victor describes patterns — a category where competitors perform choreographed routines — as a puzzle, with each move leading into the next. He teaches his students to follow the pattern, which allows them to memorize complex routines at a young age.
 
“One of the reasons we wanted to get him into martial arts was for the discipline and the focus and the regimentation,” said Jessica Berry, Kiran’s mom. “And Victor is great at that. Kiran loves him but is also afraid of him. So that helps.”
 
Victor said that his training philosophy is partly influenced by his years of experience as a taekwondo master and his time spent serving in the Marine Corp.
 
“In martial arts,” said Victor, “you learn a lot of respect, you learn to be a team leader, a hard worker, an indomitable spirit. There are five tenants of taekwondo, which are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit. That’s basically our life philosophy, that’s what we carry in our training and in our studio.
 
“And the other three that I like to bring in, being an instructor in the Marine Corp, is the honor, courage, and commitment,” Victor continued. “So, I bring that into our training as well. That has helped a lot of the students mentally grow, even if they’re 4, 5 years old, I don’t treat them like they’re 4 or 5. I give them responsibilities, I want them to learn from their mistakes.”
 
When asked what his favorite part of taekwon-do is, Landon gave an enthusiastic response.
 
“I like about it that I break boards and I do back kicks and side kicks and punches,” said Landon.
 
The U.S Taekwondo Nationals will take place from July 4-10 in Las Vegas. Victor will host an event on April 10 at West Woods Park to raise awareness for the International Taekwon-Do Academy’s new studio.

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