Kirksville hosts Battle of the Belts Taekwondo Tournament

Kirskville Taekwondo hosted the 26th annual Battle of the Belts, a day long event held in the high school gym on Saturday.

Event organizers say about 60 kids participated in the regional competition which has found a home here.

Dustin Stephenson is the instructor at Kirksville Taekwondo and doubles as a referee for the sparring.

"We enjoy having it here, we're one of the biggest schools in the state of Missouri and it's great to have it here in our own hometown."

Many of his students took part in the event and they feel it has many benefits.

"It encourages people to come out of their shells a little bit. it's all about courage and discipline and courtesy respect and it teaches a lot, said Logan Yardley.

This is the 6th straight year Kirksville has hosted the tournament and Stephenson plans on doing so next year as well