Local taekwondo studio wins at regional competition

  • Master Jinbyoung Nam poses for a photo in his taekwondo studio on Main Street in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Master Jinbyoung Nam’s taekwondo demonstration team runs through the routine that won for best choreography in a recent competition. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Master Jinbyoung Nam’s taekwondo demonstration team runs through their routine that won best choreography in a recent competition. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Master Jinbyoung Nam’s taekwondo demonstration team runs through the routine that won for best choreography in a recent competition. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ​​​​​​​

  • Master Jinbyoung Nam’s taekwondo demonstration team runs through the routine that won for best choreography in a recent competition. They were led by Greenfield resident Glenn MacNeil. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 5/24/2019 5:19:40 PM
Modified: 5/24/2019 5:19:27 PM

GREENFIELD — Roundhouse kicks. Flips in the air. Kicks and flips leading to broken boards all in one motion.

Six-year-old Spencer Towne looked on. He and most of his teammates had less than a year or two of experience under their belts, though most demonstration teams at taekwondo tournaments feature high-leveled, mature students.

Master Nam’s Greenfield Taekwondo studio showed up to the competition in Rhode Island with a team of a couple dozen, ranging from 6 to 68 years old. There were a couple black belts, but mostly it was made up of local kids, novices in the sport.

“We quickly got a reality check,” Erving resident Maggie Towne said about her son’s team.

By the end of the event, the demo team hailing from Greenfield walked away with the award for best choreography.

“We thought we may have been a little out of our league, but we fought through it and came home with a trophy taller than half the team,” Gretchen Bysiewski of Deerfield said about the team that includes her son, Colton.

Jinbyoung Nam’s taekwondo studio on Main Street has grown in the past couple years. First, he ran his business out of the Big Y Plaza, before moving to a significantly bigger space downtown in the old King’s Gym.

Nam carries with him a storied career in the field. Previously, he was the chief organizer of the New York Times Square festival for the United States Taekwondo Education Foundation (USTEF), which featured former secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.

“I didn’t expect the trophy,” Nam said, “but they got it.”

The demo team led by Glenn MacNeil of Greenfield found ways to carve out its own niche.

The teammates latched onto a routine to a “Pirates of the Caribbean” song and featured moves that crossed skill levels and age groups.

The intergenerational team found ways to not only have a good time, but come out a winner in its first-ever competition.

“We weren’t expecting to get anything,” MacNeil said. “It was just nice to be there.”

You can reach Joshua Solomon at: jsolomon@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264.




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