You may not think of Montana as one of the top spots for martial arts, but one 12 year old in Bozeman is looking to change that.
Ben Jorgensen has qualified for the Martial Arts World Championships in Little Rock, Arkansas competing in the sparring event for 12-14 year old black belt boys. Contenders come from North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia and Ben is excited to show what he can do.
"I'm really excited to go and compete." Ben said. "I hope I can bring home a medal. It's really fun to get to a whole new level of competition."
Ben has been training at Cunningham's Martial Arts in Bozeman under the guidance of owner Stuart Cunningham, who is thrilled to see Ben being recognized.
"When i found out he won, Ms. Cunningham and I were just thrilled," Stuart said with a smile. "I think he's got a good chance to do some serious damage at World's and I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes."
I even stepped on the mat to see just what kind of damage Ben could do and he knocked me back with a front kick. But even with all that strength and his hopes of taking home a medal, he is just looking forward to the experience.
"I hope i can come home with something good but if I don't I still get the experience out of it." Ben said.
"What our goals are for all of our students when you go to tournaments, do your best, make some new friends and learn something about yourself and your own taekwando. " said Stuart. "it's really an event and I just hope he goes and soaks it all in because it's a lot of fun."
Ben and Stuart are excited about this opportunity and hoping to see improvement and growth in Ben along with the sport here in Bozeman.
"I've been working very hard on my sparring because that's what I'm competing in at world's and I'm very hopeful I can improve in every way," said Ben
"To this point he is our first student whose gone to World's." said Stuart. "To have a student then reach that level and have someone whose gotten excited enough about competition and go and put in the work necessary. You know it's a huge honor to be Ben's instructor and just see him go do what's he's doing. I'm very excited."
The competition begins on July 13th, so best of luck to Ben.