Area black belt lobbies for female record board breaker
CARBONDALE — A local taekwondo master and business owner has started a campaign to get a record-breaking board breaker included in next year’s World Hanmadang Championships in Seoul, South Korea.
Doug Fueschel, owner of PRO-TKD Martial Arts Center in Carbondale and the executive director of both the United States Taekwondo Committee and the U.S. Open Taekwondo Hanmadang Championships in Colorado Springs, was present this past month when Sloane Cameron of Eugene, Oregon, set what is believed to be the world record in board-breaking by a female. Fueschel said he stood next to the 28-year-old fourth-degree black belt when, on June 19, she back-kicked 11 pine boards, which is just one board off the men’s all-time record of 12 set by John Zurisk of Indiana.
Now, Fueschel has teamed up with the president of the United States Taekwondo Committee, grandmaster San Chul Lee, to lobby the world’s governing body of taekwondo to include women’s board-breaking in the 2016 World Hanmadang Championships.
“She’s every bit as good as any man I’ve been around,” Fueschel said.
Fueschel earlier this month sent a request for the event’s inclusion to master Keun Chang Lee, the director of administration of Kukkiwon. That organization, which serves as the governing body for the martial art, has refused requests for the event’s induction, according to his letter to the Kukkiwon.
“Respectfully, I submit that women’s power breaking with foot be announced for 2016,” Fueschel, an eighth-degree black belt, said in his letter. “This is not a political decision; it is simply the right thing to do.”
According to the Register-Guard newspaper in Eugene, the 5-foot-8, 135-pound Cameron, who wears a size 8 shoe, is also believed to hold the women’s record of breaking seven concrete slabs with one kick, which happened earlier this month in Florida.
Fueschel, along with Lee, say that Cameron’s superior technique help her match, and exceed, the performances the much bigger and stronger male competitors she matches up with.
“If you look at a man playing golf, he’s usually able to hit the ball farther because he’s stronger,” said Lee, who is also the U.S. National Taekwondo Team coach. “But for a woman, she has to strike the ball perfect to get the same distance. (Cameron) has done that.”
Lee said he will personally go to Korea next month with hopes that he can persuade the Kukkiwon to include the event in the World Hanmadang (which stands for “celebration” in Korean) Championships. That announcement is slated to take place in August.
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