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Just for Kicks

More than 1,000 competitors faced off in outdoor sparring rings set up at the Pier Amphitheater for the U.S. Open Elite Taekwondo Championship on May 30. The unusual outdoor setup allowed the competition to be fun, family-oriented and fierce.
Nine rings were set up for continuous competition, including a black belt ring located on the stage to show off competitors’ high skill moves.
Competitors ages ranged from 4 to 86 and they were paired by age, body size and belt level for matches.
Pictured, Ryan Ortega, age 5, of Performance Martial Arts, Rancho Cucamonga (right) takes on Julian Esposo, age 5, of Hanns Taekwondo, Bakersfield.
Photo by Promise Yee