Local first grader tests for black belt

May 6, 2011

Shown are Eric Thomas Martinez, Jr. and Team Chip Head Instructor Lonnie Mendez. They are showing their certificates of promotion, Eric Thomas to a recommend black and Lonnie's for first degree black. Lonnie tested three years ago, and has been waiting to get his official certificate from the MooDooKwan Association in Korea.

On Dec. 11, 2010 Eric Thomas Martinez Jr. tested for his recommend black belt. He is under the instruction of his grandpa, Lonnie Mendez. of Team Chip TKD Sweetwater. Eric has been training for four years, having started at the age of 2. He is a very active member of Team Chip; he is in the Weapons Club, Black Belt Club, Tournament Team and Demo Team. He has competed in over a dozen tournaments competing against people from all over the U.S., Korea and Mexico. He has racked in approximately 18 first place finishes and five second/third place finishes in forms, fighting, weapons and creative forms. Eric Thomas' training is unique in that he trains with not only his grandpa, but his other grandpa, parents, sisters and all three aunts also train with Team Chip. He is the son of Eric and Amanda Martinez. His two sisters are  Kadence and Jocelyn Martinez. His grandparents are Lonnie and Rebecca Mendez of Sweetwater and Ruben and Eva Martinez of Colorado City. His great-grandparents are Lionel and Andrea Mendez of Sweetwater, Pauline Alaniz of Snyder, Larry and Anita Martinez of Colorado City and Juanita Gaona of Snyder. His aunts are Loni Mendez of Sweetwater, Tiffany Martinez of Colorado City and Brittney Mendez of San Angelo. He is a first grader in Mrs. Jody Foster's class at Eastridge Elementary School.

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