CONGRATULATIONS to our NEW 1st Dan Black Belts!
We want to congratulate 4 students who diligently prepared for and successfully tested for their 1st Dan during our Streaming Program. They all worked extremely hard to improve their Forms and Techniques. The children and teens who passed this test attended an average of 6-8 streaming classes per week in the 3 months preceding this test! Our new adult Black Belt has worked diligently since she began training with us. We commend them all on their hard work and noticeable effort.
We are including current pictures and those from when they first started Taekwondo with us, as well as their thoughts on how it feels to have achieved their 1st Dan Black Belt. Please feel free to leave any comments below to congratulate them!
I feel very proud of earning a first degree back belt in Taekwon-do. I started Taekwondo at the age of five; became a Junior Leader within four years and have additional responsibilities. I have worked very hard to gain this great skill and confidence to help others achieve their black belt milestone, but I am still learning every day to get better. In my opinion, Taekwon-do is not just about knowing the forms, stances, and grappling techniques but taking your time for practicing to attain power, speed, and precision.
It is exciting that I finally am a black belt and that I can learn more techniques. I think now that I am a black belt there is a responsibility to act and behave properly. Also, it’s being a role model for other students. I think it could motivate them to get their black belt and continue working hard. I used to not have a lot of power and I tried working harder to use the power for my blocks and punches. I got power by using my hips by turning them each time I did a hand technique.
Now that I am a black belt, I feel much more prepared for future challenges that come to me. It took hard work and dedication to come to this point, and it will take more of it to continue, both in life and in my Taekwondo career. I would like to thank the teen and youth leaders that have helped me learn. Without them, I wouldn’t be at the level that I am now. I would also like to thank Shim Kim. She has taught me well throughout my training and was able to organize remote training through these trying times. Going forward, I feel nervous about going up the ranks, especially in terms of my sparring proficiency. Remote training, although very helpful for forms and techniques, doesn’t let me spar with an actual opponent, and I fear that I will be far behind those who do. Even so, with enough time, I believe that I will be able to succeed.
Earning a Black Belt in Taekwondo has given me a quiet sense of accomplishment. I started this journey curious and uncertain, having never studied a martial art before. My young daughter wanted to take classes and it was something fun we could do together, but I continued on after she lost interest because I found both calm and personal growth in each class. There were times when I felt out of place—most of the students are much younger than I am—but I also felt welcomed and challenged, and so alive. I worked steadily toward this 1st Dan Black Belt for three years, and although some days I felt like I wasn’t making progress, here I am now, wearing a black belt that has my name embroidered on it. My daughter was a little awed by the belt, and she asked to briefly hold it, so I’m grateful that in this moment I feel like a good parent to her, a good role model. My husband congratulated me with respect in his eyes. This 1st Dan Black Belt is a completion of something, but it’s also the beginning of something new, which I hope will continue to be a part of my life for many more years: staying healthy; giving back to the Taekwondo community; teaching others; upholding the skills, culture, and values that Grandmaster Kim has entrusted to me; and always, always being open to learning more. I am grateful to each of my instructors for their patience, insight, and steady commitment: this 1st Dan Black Belt is their accomplishment, too.