WHITEHOUSE, TEXAS (KETK) –– The Nunon’s Martial arts school in Whitehouse is heading to the U.S. Open martial arts competition.

Owner Sam Nuon says this is a major accomplishment and opportunity that is 15 years in the making.

A Whitehouse dojo has made East Texas history as Nuon’s is taking 26 students to their first U.S Open martial arts competition since 2008.

“I’m super excited, I think its a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m blessed to be able to go with my family that I also get to compete alongside with,” said Lily Welch. “So I think I’m going to go and make the best of it.”

“I’m super excited, it’s an awesome opportunity, it’s the first humungous tournament I’ve been to,” told Brylen Yonut.

All these hours of practice is so when the competition hits, they can break through to the top.

“Man, hard work everyday at the gym, not just here, but outside the gym as well as at home, practice, practice. these kids are definitely more than ready. We put a lot of hard work, tears and sweat into our training. So excited about the upcoming event,” explained Owner Sam Nuon.

“I’ve come up here to learn my sword routine or just to come and practice. I practice at home just to prepare myself and to be the best I can be on the mat,” said Lily.

As the competition nears, instructors are reminding all participants to stay positive.

“Win or learn, its not about how they place, its about them knowing that they did everything they could and to do their best of what they can to the best of their abilities. If they don’t take home a first-place trophy, they can still take home some knowledge which is way more valuable than a piece of plastic or a medal around their neck,” declared Stephen Welch.

“Don’t stress yourself out about everything that normal people get stressed about, don’t worry who’s watching you and just know that you do your best and if you mess up out there, it doesn’t matter. The outcome just know that you did your best,” added Yonut.

The students are excited about going to Florida to compete and feel honored to represent East Texas on a national stage.

“I feel going to something as big as this and putting Whitehouse on the map is just a great opportunity,” said Lily.

“Here we are going to a big competition and I hope everyone can be proud of us on that,” declared Nuon.

“We’re going to do everything to make you guys proud, thank you for believing in us, we couldn’t do without you,” Stephen Welch said.

The competition is in Orlando, Florida from June 30th until July 3rd.