That Kid's Got Game: 'Demo team' with mesmerizing marital arts at Oakland's First Friday

By: Ryan Moran Posted: Jun 17 2018 05:22PM PDT
Jun 23, 2018

youth martial arts demostration breaking boards

OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Spinning roundhouse kicks, trick moves and snapping boards. First Friday this month in Oakland was electric when students from local martial arts schools performed in front of a roaring crowd for Korean Culture Fest 2018. 

Normally we choose one, maybe two, kids with standout skills to feature on That Kid’s Got Game, but this week a crew of kids caught our eye and we decided to throw them all together. So for this week’s talent, we’re featuring students from Han Martial Arts in Oakland, TG Taekwondo in Albany and Choi’s Martial Arts in Union City and Fremont.

The students from Han Martial Art’s are part of the Phoenix Fire Demonstration team, or Demo Team. Students who have “shown exceptional attitude and abilities,” and who are at least a green belt, are invited to perform advanced martial arts routines at events, much like the First Friday gathering. 

Students who participated in this performance range from seven to 13 years old. For the students who train at Han Martial Arts, their working under the tutelage of Master Jiwhan Han, an Olympian and Korean national judo champion. Master Han is a sixth degree black belt in judo and fifth degree black belt in Taekwondo, making him a master in both. 

The “trick moves” are remarkably eye catching, from using an arm as a stepstool to launch into a roundhouse kick and break a board, to splitting six in a row in rapid succession.

In addition to trick moves, the students displayed poomsae (Korean for form), which is a defined pattern of defense and attack motions. The routine was choreographed by Master Baek and involves movements from the eight forms a student must learn before earning their black belt.

If you’re under 18 and have game, or know someone with game, we want to see it. Visit here to learn more about submitting.