Karate kids are kicking their way up ladder

By Thomas Garcia Quay County Sun

On Main Street there may be some tae kwon do tykes and karate kids in the making.

After weeks of practice, 25 martial art students at the American Karate Studios in Tucumcari were awarded their orange belt.

The students, mostly children, earned their seventh Gup Orange Belt, which is one in a series of levels that leads to a coveted black belt, said instructor and fifth-degree black belt, tae kwon do master Marc Anthony Baca of Clovis.

Baca, who said he has been a martial arts instructor for 19 years, opened the studio in August on Main Street in Tucumcari.
“In my 19 years of training, Tucumcari is the best place I have been,” Baca said. “The parents have shown outstanding support. I have been blessed with how the community has accepted my classes.”

Baca said he has 80 students, from children to adults, from Quay County who are enrolled in classes on Mondays and Fridays.
Baca also has American Karate Studios in Clovis and Muleshoe, Texas. He said he plans to open another in Portales.

The studios offer tae kwon do, kick boxing, gymnastics and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training. Baca said he owns the Phoenix Gladiator Cage Fighters, an MMA organization that is licensed in the State of New Mexico to promote amateur and professional mixed martial arts fights.

Students, young and old, can benefit from the training and classes, Baca said.

“The students that take the classes learn how to exercise correctly and develop mental and physical focus,” he said.