Tae Kwon Do Is A Family Affair

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A Payson family has punched, kicked, thrown and wrestled its way to seven medals at the World Tae Kwon Do Federation World Championships held Sept. 5 in Reno, Nev.

The competitors included 47-year-old Francisca Alatriz and her two children, Victor and Leticia.

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Among the competitors at a martial arts championship event in Reno, Nev. were 47-year-old Francisca Alatriz (right) and her two children, Victor and Leticia.

Victor is a junior at Payson High School and Francisca and Leticia are employees of the Mazatzal Casino.

With the showings in Reno, the three qualified for the World Gold Cup in Sacramento, Calif. Although the date for the Gold Cup hasn't been set, Leticia said the three would most likely compete under the sponsorship of the Tonto Apache Tribe and the Time Out Shelter.

In Reno, Francisca captured two gold medals, Leticia earned two golds and a silver and Victor picked up a gold and a bronze. The three study locally under instructor Chris Bailey at the Karate and Kung Fu Center.

According to Leticia, the three are proponents of a style of martial arts known as Hwa Rang Do -- Korean martial art "that teaches the mentality of the Samurai warriors of Japan. It is more complete than Tae Kwon Do," she said.

On a Hwa Rang Do website, the martial arts is said to combine the spirit and philosophy of ancient warriors with secret combat skills.

In preparation for the Gold Cup, the family practices their skills each weekday evening at the karate center.

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