From Tyler to South Korea, by way of martial arts.
One East Texas teen, we first met in May, recently returned from the chance of a lifetime. He and his instructor were among the select few chosen to represent the United States at the "Friendship Games" in South Korea.
Corey Puckett is fast rising in U.S. Taekwondo ranks. But for this competitive teen that was not enough.
So last month, he and his instructor headed to South Korea.
"I had never done that before, so it was really cool," Corey said.
Corey and 17 other Texas students trained with others from Greece, Japan, Sweden and Great Britain. It's all done in the spirit of international relations. They sparred against young South Korean men and women who have trained since they began to walk.
"They were like the cat and the mouse," Corey said. "They were the cat and we were the mouse. To spar with someone that's way better than you, you just learn from that. Because you're learning from someone that can obviously knock you out with no problem. You just lean from every bit of it."
Even instructor David Jones, a 34 year martial arts veteran, was impressed by the South Koreans precision.
"Actually its really hard," David said. "For them to do it, makes it look easy."
Corey held his own, placing second in one sparing competition. While there, he and David trained with the South Koreans from dawn till dusk.
Corey said representing the U.S. was a high honor and he looks forward to using the skills he learned in South Korea against his future U.S. competitors.
Corey's next competition comes next weekend in Dallas. His next international sparring competition is in October.
Maya Golden reporting, email@example.com