Essex County News

Livingston Children Bring Home Medals From ITF World Championships

Cody Capizano, gold in high kick, 8 yrs; Valerie Genis, bronze in traditional patterns, 11 yrs; Michael Genis, gold in sparring, age 8; and Justin Capizano, gold in traditional patterns, age 11. Credits: Brad Shipp
The World Championships competitors pose with their martial arts classmates and Grand Master Brad Shipp at Complete Martial Arts in Roseland, NJ. Credits: Brad Shipp
Grand Master Brad Shipp with Michael Genis (age 8, gold in sparring) and Valerie Genis (age 11, bronze in traditional patterns) Credits: Brad Shipp
Grand Master Brad Shipp withJustin Capizano (age 11, gold in traditional patterns) and Cody Capizano (age 8, gold in high kick) Credits: Brad Shipp

BARNEVELD, NL — Livingston siblings Valerie and Michael Genis, children of Jul and Alexandra Genis of Livingston, recently represented Team USA in an International Taekwondo Federation World Championships / World Cup competition in Barneveld, Netherlands. Also competing were fellow martial arts students Justin and Cody Capizano, grandchildren of Steve Place of Livingston and children of Jenny Place Capizano and Chris Capizano of East Hanover.

More than 35 countries participated in this World Championship Tournament, which included events that included traditional patterns, sparring, and special techniques such as high jump kick. 

Justin Capizano, 11, earned gold in traditional patterns, competing against the best teen and adult practitioners from 16 different countries.  His younger brother Cody, 8, earned a gold medal in the high jump-kick competition and scored the maximum points in his round. 

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Michael Genis, 8, also earned a gold medal in free sparring, demonstrating his fighting skills, speed and control.  His older sister Valerie, 11, earned a bronze medal in traditional patterns, competing against the top teen and adult females from around the world. 

All four of these students have trained at least two-to-three times per week and up to six times per week for the past several years at Complete Martial Arts in Roseland, NJ under the guidance of Grand Master Brad Shipp and Taekwondo Pioneer Supreme Master Bok Man Kim.  Their training schedules intensified during the months leading up to the competition, with daily training sessions that often lasted several hours. 

According to the Capizano family, these students had to sacrifice other activities and obligations in order to prepare for this historic event.

“We would like to congratulate the students and their families for their dedication to the martial art and sport of Taekwondo,” said Jenny Capizano. “These students demonstrated their skills on an international stage and proved that they are among the highest standards of Taekwondo in the world.”

The next ITF Open World Championships will be held in Seoul, South Korea in 2019.  Until then, Grand Master Shipp and Supreme Master Bok Man Kim will enjoy training and educating the next generation of World Champions and highly disciplined martial artists. 

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