Wednesday, February 2, 2011 2:09 AM EST
Jimenez Earns Title of Grand Master
By Brian Radewitz
RED HOOK — Livingston resident Hector Jimenez Sr. achieved one of the highest honors given to a Taekwondo practitioner last weekend by receiving his 8th DAN, or degree, Black Belt and the rank of Grand Master, according to a release from Red Hook Martial Arts Academy Manager Red Hook Martial Arts Academy Hilda Jimenez.
Hector Jimenez’s instructor, John Pellegrini, of Arizona, and board member Grand Master Bill “Superfoot” Wallace presented him with a certificate and rank at the Action Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Honors at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.
Pellegrini is the founder and chairman of the International Combat Hapkido Federation (ICHF) and the Independent Taekwondo Association (ITA). With over 200 schools in the ICHF and ITA, Jimenez is the first of his students to be promoted to 8th Dan with the rank of Grand Master.
Receiving awards is nothing new to Jimenez, who has been inducted into four hall of fames, including the Action Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Fame.
“This has been the most rewarding experience since retiring in 2005 after a 22-year career with the New York State Police,” Jimenez said, noting that he has been involved in martial arts since 1976 and firmly believes that martial arts is a lifestyle, not something that is just practiced.
Jimenez’s son, Hector Jr., is currently a 5th DAN and a former AAU Taekwondo National Champion. The family operates Red Hook Martial Arts Academy and has been teaching child and adult classes for over a decade.
Hilda Jimenez said that in 2009 the South Korean government estimated that there are over 70 million practitioners of Taekwondo in the world and Hector Sr. looks forward to adding to those numbers.
“He feels that in his new role as a Grandmaster he will represent his art with humility and respect and make sure that his impact within the local community lives on for generations,” she stated.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Red Hook MAA headed to big stage
By Brian Radewitz
- The Red Hook Martial Arts Academy sent a team to the AAU Adirondack Taekwondo Championships at Hudson Valley Community College on Feb. 21 and established itself as a top-notch Taekwondo program, as evidenced by the numerous medals the team brought back.
Team coach Master Hector Jimenez Jr. and seven members of the Red Hook Martial Arts Academy (RHMAA) Competition Team competed in Troy and qualified for the AAU Nationals and the Junior Olympics. Over 350 competitors from over seven states showed up at the college to participate in the event. Red Hook's team consists of Brandon Caridi, Cristina Cummings, Alec Cummings, Danielle Gay and Dan Sherrod, all of whom are black belts at RHMAA, as well as Raeanna Levenson and Laura Muldoon, who are both advanced level color belts.
According to Master Jimenez Sr., Muldoon takes her black belt test in May. Each of the participants have been with the academy anywhere from two to 15 years. The team competed in forms and Olympic sparring, bringing home seven medals overall.
Master Jimenez Jr., a town of Livingston resident, performed a fifth dan black belt form and won a gold medal for his efforts. "Forms" are a predetermined set of moves which each participant must carry out. The sequence looks like a simulated sparring session and is judged on speed, grace, beauty and execution.
Cristina Cummings of Elizaville won a bronze in sparring and forms while her older brother, Alec Cummings, competed in the 14-17-year-old division for the first time, winning a gold medal in Olympic sparring.
Olympic sparring differs from conventional point sparring in that the former contains more contact. Athletes wear head gear and chest protectors for Olympic sparring and there are no breaks in the action as there are in the point version. Gay, of Rhinebeck, won a silver medal in sparring and Levenson, of Tivoli, won a silver in forms and a gold in sparring. Caridi and Sherrod, both of Rhinebeck, and Muldoon, of Red Hook, placed in the top eight of their respective divisions and were given participation medals for their efforts.
By placing in the top eight, the team qualified to attend this year's AAU Nationals and Junior Olympics. Nationals are scheduled to be held June 29-July 4 at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
"We felt the team did very well in the Adirondack Championships," said Jimenez Sr., who competed in the 1970s and feels it is much more gratifying to see his students perform well than to perform well himself. "The feeling doesn't come close to how I feel seeing the students progress, develop and compete well."
Unfortunately not all of his students will be able to make the trip to Florida for the national event as each student must pay for their own trip and accommodations.
"The economy definitely plays a part as each family has to absorb all of the cost of competing," stated Jimenez Sr. "It is nice to see a large number of people still competing at the events though in these tough times. The numbers weren't down too much at the Adirondack event and I hope they won't be down too much at the national events either."
Members of the competition team are training diligently for the summer tournament. In addition to practicing twice a week in normal classes, members come to the gym at least two extra days during the week to get some extra work in.
"I expect everyone to do very well that goes to Florida. We always come home with medals and I feel that we have a very strong competition team this year," stated Jimenez Sr.