The Filipinos of Spirit 1 Taekwondo Academy: Black Belts & Branch Opening

The Filipinos of Spirit 1 Taekwondo Academy: Black Belts & Branch Opening

Lionel Bernier | April 26, 2019

Spirit 1 Taekwondo Academy is on fire with excitement as new black belt degrees have recently been awarded and the opening of a new branch in the Maples of Winnipeg is soon to occur. On April 13th, the academy joined forces with Tam’s Taekwondo during the coloured and black belt promotion tests held that day. Thirty-two Filipino students tested in the coloured belt group. Eleven Filipino students earned their black belt degrees, seven for the first time. Alecs Barzaga was promoted to the 3rd Dan Degree Black Belt, Edric Comia of Lorette to 2nd Dan, Alexander Bedona-Padua and Jasmine de Luna to 2nd Poom, Chriselle Ambalina to 1st Dan, and Sophia Aniasco, Steven Amsel, Lorraine Dabasol, Jurel Coronel, Gaven Maalihan, and Kurt De Guzman all to the 1st Poom Black Belt. Aniasco, Amsel, and Dabasol are the original members of the Saturday Class session first offered by Master Michael Tam to those parents who were not able to attend the regular weekly evening taekwondo sessions. This gave their children the opportunity to become physically active in the sport. That fledgling class in November 2016 has since grown to thirty students, twenty-seven of whom are Filipino. Eight are adults.

Three students, all Filipinos, were named as the Most Improved of the Year at the 2018 Academy Awards of Spirit 1 Taekwondo Academy. Two of those recipients have since been promoted to the rank of black belt. The other student, Chyryl Rances, was only recently recognized for this accomplishment with a two-rank promotion to Green Belt/Blue Stripe. A two-rank promotion is also granted to a student who earns two Most Improved certificates after promotion tests held during the course of a year. At the April promotion test, Roche de Luna earned the Most Improved certificate and Ayanna Lubo earned an Improved certificate for the skill and effort they displayed.

Master Tam and Spirit 1 Taekwondo Academy are pleased to announce the grand opening of a new branch on May 2nd in the Elwick Community School located at 30 Maberley Road. Class times are Tuesday and Thursday between 6:00pm and 8:00pm. The branch instructor is Ron Padua, a 3rd Dan Degree Black Belt registered with World Taekwondo, Taekwondo Manitoba, and Taekwondo Canada. Mr. Padua can be reached at 204-298-2228. Visit the academy’s website at for more information.

Photos by Jay de Luna.