JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
With his father's help, an Air Force colonel's son earned medals in two competitions at the Texas State Tae Kwon Do Championships.
Brandon Gavino, son of Col. Amando Gavino, Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency director of communications, took a gold medal in sparring and silver in forms at the Championships, which took place March 14-15 in Grapevine, Texas.
The 13-year-old, who currently takes Tae Kwon Do lessons Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Chaparral Fitness Center, said winning the competition helped boost his self-confidence to achieve anything he sets his mind to.
"Having the confidence to do what I want to do helps me with my school work and other things," Brandon explained.
Gavino is proud of his son's achievement, adding that he helped train Brandon by working with him on a body opposition bag they call "BOB" in their garage every weekend. To prepare, he increased his training to everyday for three consecutive weeks before the competition.
"(Seeing Brandon win) was a good feeling after all the adrenaline helping him practice for three weeks," expressed the colonel, who holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. "I told him that if you want to feel and taste victory, you have to work hard."
Brandon, a blue belt specialist, began taking lessons in October 2012 at the Chaparral after the Gavinos moved to San Antonio from Robins Air Force Base, Ga. His instructor is Antulio Garza, who has been teaching Tae Kwon Do on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland for 19 years.
Garza is happy with the 13-year-old's commitment to learning in his class and wants to see him compete in more competitions.
"He's a fast learner," he explained. "What helps is the environment at home. When you have the encouragement at home plus the will and dedication of the student, it makes a combination for great success."
"His goals at this time have been met. I want to make sure that he progresses at a good keel, and he is ready for different levels of competition.
Brandon credits both his instructor and father for his progression.
"They both train me hard to increase my endurance, strength, and skills," he said
As his son continues to improve his martial arts skills, Amando wants to continue being instrumental in his development.
"As he moves higher, I want to move higher with him," concluded the colonel, who attained certification in Tae Kwon Do to instruct Brandon.
For more information on Tae Kwon Do lessons, call the Chaparral Fitness Center at 671-2401.