Paige Biviano became a student of Tae Kwon Do as a toddler. Now, at age 15, she is training for the 2010 Junior World Tae Kwon Do Championships, to be held next month in Tijuana, Mexico.
Biviano was first introduced to the full contact martial art at Fayetteville's Master Sun Chong's Tae Kwon Do Center, that which her father used to own. She trains under current owner Master James Randall and of course dad, Master Mark Biviano.
"She's very determined," Randall said. "She has to win no matter what it is."
Last month, the Cazenovia resident was one of 75 athletes competing for one of 20 spots on the United States Junior World Tae Kwon Do team. The US team was finalized at the Junior World Team Trials held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Biviano qualified in the female lightweight division by taking first place in the round robin sparring tournament, which is her favorite part of the martial art.
"I like to kick people," she said with a giggle. "You've accomplished something when you can hit somebody."
She further explained that learned skills from sparring can help in real life situations such as a tool for self defense.
"If somebody were to attack you; you can use it against them," she said.
Tae Kwon Do, however, is much more than a physical sport, Randall said. And it's not an endurance sport either. It takes strategy.
"Tae Kwon Do is more like a chess match than it is running," Randall said. "Sometimes it's a flurry of kicks and [the students are] strategizing their next move."
Biviano's success lays a good part in exercising both confidence and skill.
"She's a good problem solver and because Tae Kwon Do is strategic, you have to be smart," Randall said. "She changes herself all the time. When you go to an event, people study you, try to figure out what you're going to do [and] come back with a plan next time, but [Biviano] doesn't stay the same from one time to the next."