Milpitas' newest martial arts school had a grand opening Saturday at to announce its arrival.
Master Chino Cruz, a second-degree black belt with 17 years of experience, will head the Milpitas branch of Manila Tae Kwon Do. His father, Master Henry Cruz, opened the flagship school in Union City exactly 15 years ago.
Both were present for the ribbon-cutting, with Vice Mayor Pete McHugh and Councilman Armando Gomez. A large crowd had gathered to watch.
Children performed while their parents beamed. Parent Jinan Magpuri said, “My boy has to much energy, so I wanted him to have some discipline and direction. My daughter is kind of shy, so I wanted her to have some confidence.” A resident of Livermore, Magpuri said he doesn’t mind the drive.
“I like the training, the people, the parents and everything about it,” said son Joshua Magpuri, a black belt.
“The trainings are pretty hard, but you get used to it. It gets easier and easier.”
Cruz incorporates a variety of music in his classes ranging from Michael Jackson to hip hop of the early '80s.
“My son was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and the doctor told me I had to enroll him in an after-school program so he could become exhausted and go to bed," said Iloida Etrata, a mother with two sons in the program.
“Tae kwon do involves a lot of exercise with sparing, and my son was overweight also at the time,” she said.
The second school offers an array of classes to choose from for youth, teens and adults. Class lengths run from 45 minutes to an hour and a half, Mondays through Saturdays. The students in the program have traveled across the country, competing in Minnesota, Florida, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and even the Philippines for competition.
Upon receiving his commemoration, Cruz ended on a final note before cutting the yellow ribbon for Manila Tae Kwon Do.
“I always tell my kids, 'I don’t care what you do in life; you can wash dishes or be a garbage man, just as long as you come in first and be the No. 1 dishwasher or garbage man.'”
The school has placed 10 members on the U.S. Junior National Team, representing the United States in competitions abroad in such countries as China, Ireland, Korea, Brazil, Aruba, Vietnam and Mexico.