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ECTC 2017 All-Star Team Trains in San Francisco

By Hilary Monaco, Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference Tournament Committee Member    |    March 1st, 2017

This year’s ECTC All-Star team, led by Coaches Dan Chuang and Rich Hajeris, traveled to California to train with high level coaches and players in the San Francisco area. The team participated in four workouts from January 12th-15th in both poomsae and sparring. 


“I plan to bring back many of the drills we tried out at the different locations throughout the trip,” said two-time All-star Kyosan Ku from Cornell University. 


The All-Stars arrived in San Francisco on Thursday and immediately participated in their first session at the University of California, Berkeley with Dr. Russell Ahn and Coach Sophia Chung, practicing both sparring and poomsae. On Friday, the team trained in Oakland, CA at Precision Martial Arts and Fitness with elite Coach TJ Curry, multiple time US national sparring team member. The team completed their weekend at Stanford University on Saturday, starting with a morning sparring workout led by Coach Reynaldo Soriano and Coach Kim, and ending the day with a poomsae focused workout led by under Team-M and Stanford University poomsae coach Huy Nguyen. 


“It is a truly incredible, humbling experience to train with talented athletes from across the country,” said team member Rae Drach from the Albany taekwondo team and Princeton Taekwondo alumni. 


The value of the ECTC All-Star’s’ trip for the team members goes beyond training with taekwondo greats from across the country and learning new perspectives on training and technique. These trips allow athletes to strengthen the connections within the ECTC and brings teams closer together. 


This year the team includes athletes from seven ECTC schools. Three are Division I schools: MIT, Cornell and the United States Military Academy at West Point. Two schools hail from Division II: Rutgers and Columbia, and one athlete was from Northeastern University, a Division III school. Two athletes represented the league in the poomsae competitive discipline: Andrew Hurd from Northeastern University and Josephine Wong from Cornell. Aside from Ku (Cornell) and Drach (Albany), this year’s All-Star sparring representatives consist of Rachel Connick and Nicholas Hensel from MIT, Matthew Galea from USMA, Jared Gurba and Hyunji Kim also from Cornell, Felicia How from Columbia University and Nathalie Peck from Rutgers University.


“I really enjoyed getting to know the other All-Stars. There is no better bonding experience than training with each other! We talked about our differences and similarities in running each of our teams, from practice culture to funding,” said Ku. 


Said three-time All-star Drach, “The All-Star trip provides student-athletes with an unparalleled opportunity to both represent the league in external arenas and to remind member schools of the ECTC's important traditions of sportsmanship, growth, and community."


The ECTC thanks everyone who supports this amazing team each year. This year a special thank you goes to Mooto USA and Mr. James Kim for generously sponsoring this year’s All-Star Team gear.

Take a minute to meet the 2016-2017 All-Star Team!

2016-2017 All-Stars

Poomsae All-Star Team

      Andrew Hurd         Northeastern

      Josephine Wong             Cornell


Sparring All-Star Team

      Rachel Connick                   MIT

      Rae Drach                       Albany

      Matthew Galea                USMA

      Jared Gurba                   Cornell

      Nicholas Hensel                  MIT

      Felicia How                 Columbia

      Hyunji Kim                      Cornell

      Kyosan Ku                      Cornell

      Nathalie Peck                Rutgers



      Master Dan Chuang            MIT

      Master Rich Hajeris        Albany 

All-Stars Training Schedule

Thursday night

University of California Berkeley

Dr. Russell Ahn and Coach Sophia Chung


Friday night

Precision Martial Arts and Fitness

Coach TJ Curry


Saturday morning

Stanford University Sparring

Coach Reynaldo Soriano and Coach Kim

Organized by Coach Tim Ghormley (not present)


Saturday afternoon

Stanford University and Team-M Poomsae

Coach Huy Nguyen

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