By Mark Hallum
A Bayside martial artist will be going to the USA National Taekwondo trials to be selected for the USA national team in this year’s world championships in South Korea.
Eight men and eight women will be chosen for the USA National Team, and Christian Suh, 25, is in the running. For 20 years, Christian Suh has trained at his father’s Bay Terrace facility, High Performance Martial Arts. Christian Suh has made the junior USA National Team three times and won the silver medal at the 2008 World Junior Taekwondo Championships in Turkey. But if Christian Suh makes it to the National team for men, he will follow in the footsteps of his father, Jin Suh, who made the team in 1998 and 2000.
“He’s a third generation taekwondo master,” Jin Suh said. “My father was a taekwondo master and I have been teaching in the New York Area for the past 20 years. [High Performance] is a family-run business, and my son just became a master in February of this year.”
Jin Suh, like his son, grew up in Bayside and went to Bayside High School. The younger Suh attended Benjamin Cardozzo High School.
Christian Suh saw success at the U.S. National Team trials on March 17 in Fort Worth, Texas, where he won five matches throughout the day to win his spot.
“I’ve been trying to make the senior national team since I was 16,” Christian Suh said. “I made the junior national team on my 16th birthday… it’s the World Championships, so I’m anticipating to bring home the gold medal for the USA.”
Christian Suh is also trying to make it to the 2020 Olympic team by collecting enough points in international competitions to qualify.
“At times, we clash a little bit,” Christian Suh said about having his father as a coach. “But overall it’s a very good relationship. Because we’re so close, I can understand what he’s trying to tell me without him having to say much.”
Carrying on the tradition of his family and taking over the family business by running the facilities owned by his father is on the agenda for Christian Suh.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall