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Dylan Vargas Opens His Own Martial Arts Academy

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There’s a new home-grown business in Gallup, but with a name most residents will know well.

Miyamura High School freshman Dylan Vargas will be operating his own Martial Arts Academy, and training the students who come to him. The Second-degree black belt has been certified by the World Tae Kwan Do headquarters in Seoul, South Korea to teach, and spent last year training some of the students at Sacred Heart School. He took four of them to the Grand International Championships in Albuquerque last year and all brought home awards and trophies, testifying to his ability to teach.

Training for 11 years – and bringing home 757 trophies, including 55 World Championships, over 50 National, Regional, and State Championships in four states – Vargas remains the youngest Martial Artist to date in the US Karate Alliance and the International Martial Arts Council to win the Triple Crown in the five-year-old Division, and also won back-to-back titles in the six and seven-year old Divisions.

Vargas is also the youngest to win the Grand Championship in the International Martial Arts Council World Championships when he was six and was awarded the Competitor of the Year at the 2010 World Championships of the International Martial Arts Council. The diminutive Vargas has also captured 30 Grand Championships.

Vargas was asked to come back to teach and train Sacred Heart School students again this year, and has decided that this time it will be open to the public of any age.

He trains in Korean Tae-Kwon-Do of two styles, Moo Duk Kwon and Tang Soo Do under 8th Degree Grand Master Joe Mandagaran from Grants, and 6th Degree Grand Master Patrick Miller from Las Vegas, NV.

Vargas also trains in Japanese Shotokan, Kenpo and Jeet Kune Do under 10th Degree Grand Master Bernie Fleeman, also from Las Vegas, NV.

Grand Master Fleeman trained under Joe Lewis, one of the world’s greatest Martial Arts fighters, who had trained under Bruce Lee, Vargas feels blessed to be in that lineage of great martial artists. For more local training, Nate Sellers of Bio-Dog in Gallup instructs him in Jiu Jitsu. Vargas also handles nine different weapons in competition and will be teaching his students those forms as well.

If that isn’t enough of a resume for you, consider also that this young man has earned a GPA of 4.0, been a regional winner twice in the science fair (unable to attend state because of conflicting events in Martial Arts), plays the bass guitar in his dad’s band, won the Country Showdown last year (a title also held by his mother, Cindy), played with the All-Star baseball team for Gallup as a 12-year-old, and is also taking up golf.

Dylan believes in teaching his students respect, discipline and self confidence. Martial arts is a way of life, not just a sport.

For registration information and pricing, contact Vargas at (505) 979-0816 or (505) 979-1467 or Contact Sacred Heart School, 515 Park Ave., Principal’s office (505) 863-6652. All classes will be held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Gym.