When Taekwondo Master Brian Yu opened Pride Martial Arts Taekwondo in Jefferson Township a year ago, he chose an appropriate name. Indeed, pride flows from the school these days.

Pride Martial Arts recently received a Best School trophy – one of only two awarded – after competing in the 2018 New Jersey Masters Cup Taekwondo Championship, which included 10 schools. As for Wu’s students, participants brought home an array of medals.

Master Yu holds the massive “Best School” trophy. (Photo provided by Pride Martial Arts Taekwondo)

“I am so proud of my students,” he enthusiastically tells The Jefferson Chronicle, adding that he is extremely happy he chose the township as the location for his school. “I love the town; there is nature everywhere.” Yu explains that he especially appreciates the township’s natural and relaxed environment, a contrast to the school’s former location in Bergen County.

Master Yu coaches before the championship begins. (Photo provided by Pride Martial Arts Taekwondo)

A native of South Korea, Yu himself has been practicing taekwondo for 25 years, having been coerced by his mother to learn the art. He was six years old at the time and cried at the thought, he quips. An extremely shy boy, Yu says the art built up his confidence and self-esteem, adding that this is the goal of taekwondo.

Master Yu does some last-minute coaching before the championship begins. (Photo provided by Pride Martial Arts Taekwondo)

This type of martial art, he explains, is about building confidence and instilling respect and discipline. It is not about aggression, he emphasizes, but rather “being able to defend yourself.” Yu says that in the face of bullying, which is all too common today, the martial art is an ideal way for intimidated children to regain self-regard and, yes, restore their “pride.”

Sophia Horan during sparring competition. (Photo provided by Pride Martial Arts Taekwondo)

The Medal Winners

New Jersey Masters Cup Taekwondo medal winners include the following:

Ava Rockey – 1st place form; 2nd place sparring; 3rd place breaking
Alex McCann – 2nd place form; 3rd place breaking
Cole Havriliak – 2nd place breaking; 3rd place form
Dhruv Patel – 1st place form; 1st place breaking; 2nd place sparring
Ella DiNardo – 1st place form; 1st place breaking
Emma Burke – 1st place form; 2nd place breaking
Gianna Masucci – 1st place form; 1st place breaking; 3rd place sparring

Gianna Masucci, who won two first place medals, with Master Yu. (Photo provided by Pride Martial Arts Taekwondo)

Josh Colussi – 1st place form; 1st place breaking
Mahi Patel – 2nd place form; 3rd place breaking
Nate Burke – 1st place form; 1st place breaking
Rudra Patel – 2nd place form; second place breaking
Ryan Post – 2nd place form

Ryan Post, who won a second place medal, with Master Yu. (Photo provided by Pride Martial Arts Taekwondo)

Sophia Horan – 1st place sparring; 2nd place form; 2nd place breaking
Instructor Michael – 1st place form; 1st place breaking

Michael Tonner-Mintier during form competition. (Photo provided by Pride Martial Arts Taekwondo)

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Maria Weiskott is a Jefferson Township resident and a forty year veteran of the publishing profession. An award-winning journalist and editor, she served in top managerial positions at numerous business-to- business newspapers and magazines including Reed Elsevier and Fairchild Publications. Early in her career she operated a local newspaper in the Passaic Valley towns of Little Falls, Totowa and the former West Paterson. Following retirement, she launched a “ghostblogging” service that provides social networking update and blogging services for small and medium sized businesses. Maria travels widely with her husband and is a passionate photographer. She can be reached at maria.weiskott@thejeffersonchronicle.com.

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