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World Taekwondo champ from Lebanon County hosting international virtual martial arts lessons

Joshua Aguirre, 8, is serving as a host, guest instructor, and teacher for virtual Taekwondo lessons featuring kids all over the world.

LEBANON, Pa. — Milly Aguirre is running out of space in the home attic to put her son's accomplishments. 

In a short time of only the last couple years, Joshua, 8, has risen to become one of the best young athletes in the world in the martial art of Taekwondo. He's won numerous international competitions, and his future in the sport has become such a large focus for the family, the home attic has been transformed into a Taekwondo dojang. 

So, mom is running out of space. For the time being though, it serves as a great backdrop.

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Because of COVID-19, Joshua has been kept far away from the gym. Yet, as we've seen so often in this pandemic world we live in, technology has brought the outside world closer to us than ever before. Joshua, one of the most respected and admired young athletes in his craft, has been asked to participate as a host and guest instructor in a series of virtual Taekwondo classes featuring dozens of other children -- his age and older -- and even adults, from all over the world.

"He started uploading his workout videos, and then they start contacting me asking, 'Please, please, please! Can we work out with Joshua?" said Millie. 

These classes, done over Zoom, include kids from the across the continental United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, India, and the Philippines. 

When it comes to Taekwondo, Joshua is the one doing the teaching, but the classes also give him a chance to learn. All sessions are in Spanish, and Joshua admits his bilingual skills are still a work in progress. It's about the only weakness for the boy, who is about to enter 3rd grade as a Distinguished Honors student. 

"It is such a nice honor to teach all those adults and kids and helping them," Joshua said. "I just love helping and that’s what I want to do with my life."