Cancino’s Black Belt Academy and the American Taekwondo Association (ATA) hosted The Battle Born Regionals this past weekend at the Grand Sierra Resort.
Mark Cancino, a 2017 ATA world champion, brought the competition back to Reno after almost 20 years of absence. Cancino explained that after a prior trainer had left the Reno area with a void he and his father, also a world champion, built up the Cancino’s Black Belt Academy in to what it is today.
The event attracted competitors from as far away as Arizona, Las Vegas, and southern California. The one-day event had over 300 competitors and a variety of competitions, from individual weapon mastery to competitors sparring. While the age range varied greatly, the skill of these black belts was truly something to see.
While sparring is exciting to watch, the event placed a high value on respect by all competitors. Masters of the art are treated with a great deal of reverence and regardless of age competitors were friendly and jovial with each other. The Battle Born Regionals may have been missing for nearly 20 years, but it looks like a bright future ahead.
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Ty O’Neil is a lifelong student of anthropology with two degrees in the arts. He is far more at home in the tear gas filled streets of war torn countries than he is relaxing at home. He has found a place at This Is Reno as a photojournalist. He hopes to someday be a conflict photojournalist covering wars and natural disasters abroad.