Taekwondo Opportunities (+ Karate and Judo Added)

In 2015 Eric Wright with Coach Johnny Birch competed at the first Virtus World Taekwondo Championships in Ecuador and claimed the individual Gold medal for USA. Athletes Without Limits continues to seek talented athletes with intellectual disability to represent the U.S. Team at Virtus International events in Taekwondo, with Karate and Judo added in 2023.

As the US member of Virtus, the International Federation for athletes with Intellectual Impairment, Athletes Without Limits offers opportunities for athletes to compete at the highest levels thanks to a collaboration between Virtus and World Taekwondo.
Since 2023 Virtus events also include Karate and Judo. 

Qualified US athletes may be able to travel to international competitions as part of Athletes Without Limits USA delegation. Please review eligibility guidelines and contact us if you know of any athletes who may be interested.

Additional 2024-2025 opportunities will be posted as they come up.

2024 USATKD National Championships (Individual Event – Requires National Level Virtus Eligibility through AWL)
2026 Virtus Americas Regional Games Peru (Athletes Without Limits National Team Trip)
2027 Virtus Global Games Egypt (Athletes Without Limits National Team Trip)

PAST EVENTS (Partial List)
2023 Virtus Global Games France
(Athletes Without Limits National Team Trip)
2023 AAU Nationals (Las Vegas)
2022 Virtus OA Games Australia (Invitational AWL Team Trip)
2019 Virtus (formerly Inas) Global Games Australia (Athletes Without Limits National Team Trip)
2018 Pam Am Open Taekwondo Championships (Spokane, WA)
2017 World Para Taekwondo Championships (London)
2017 U.S. Open Para Taekwondo
GG Banner Small2017 PanAm Games (Costa Rica)
2016 U.S. Open Para Taekwondo (Reno, Nevada)
2016 Virtus (formerly Inas) World Para-Taekwondo Championships
2015 Virtus/Inas Global Games Ecuador (Athletes Without Limits National Team Trip)


U.S. Eligibility Application

Competition Groups offered at Virtus Events:
Virtus II1- Intellectual Disability (IQ of 75 or lower)
Virtus II2- Intellectual Disability with Additional Impairment (e.g. Down Syndrome, CP)
Virtus II3- Autism+ (IQ of 76 or higher)


Johnny Birch

Athletes Without Limits Taekwondo National Director
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Following a successful career on the Army Taekwondo Team, Sabumnim Johnny L. Birch Jr founded the Carlisle Taekwondo & Fitness Academy, LLC in 2011. The Academy’s mission is to provide world-class Taekwondo instruction for individuals and families at an affordable cost, while striving to produce national level athletes to represent Pennsylvania on the national and international stage. Sabumnim Birch is a Certified Instructor in accordance with the National Safe Sports Act of 2014.

Taekwondo career highlights include:
7th Dan Sport Taekwondo Associates
6th Dan Chang Moo Kwan
5th Dan Kukkiwon Black Belt
4th Dan MooDukKwan Black Belt
4th Dan Sport Taekwondo Associates
1st Dan World Martial Arts Federation