Board-breaking ACU alum's got talent

Posted June 15, 2010

Chip TownsendChip Townsend ('07) is kicking his way to stardom, leaving wooden boards and flaming concrete slabs in his wake. The ACU grad and his team have advanced to the second round of "America's Got Talent" in Las Vegas.

Even after being featured on ESPN and The Science Channel, Townsend was apprehensive about trying to put Team Chip on the show's stage. But when NBC asked him to compete, Townsend and 14 other team members headed to Dallas for the first round of competition.

"I told them that I was there to break stuff," Townsend said. He kicked and punched his way through several bats and boards -- even a few flaming cinder blocks.

Team Chip includes Townsend and his wife, GlynAnn Townsend ('96) and Kevin Willhelm ('88). Despite their five months of training, Townsend says they were nervous in the beginning.

"There's always this x-factor of 'what if this happens', but we felt confident because we train very hard to do what we do," Townsend said.

Celebrity judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel could not get enough of Townsend's talents.  Mandel spoke for the three in saying, "I want to see more stuff broken!"

Townsend's aptitude for breaking things has won him significant acclaim. ESPN will feature the sixth-degree blackbelt next July as he attempts to surpass his world record of breaking 36 boards in eight seconds. He has also received 14 International Sport Karate Association world titles.

Townsend and his wife live in Abilene, where they run a martial arts school, Team Chip Tae Kwon Do. They have three children.

For more information about Townsend and his school, visit the Team Chip Tae Kown Do website.


Did you know? COBA in Oxford students are exploring how iPads can be used for research while they consult for marketing firm A.C. Nielsen this summer. Follow their findings by becoming a fan of their Facebook page.