Our New 1st Dans

Jocelyn Barbato

I have been practicing TaeKwonDo for four years. I feel confident and excited now that I have achieved my black belt. The reason why is because I will be able to help color belts get to a black belt like me. Another reason is that now I know all the forms from Chon-Ji to Hwa-Rang and Choong-Moo and I get to learn more. My favorite thing in TaeKwonDo are the form classes because they are fun and very helpful. I also feel thankful for  Miss Shim, Ilya, and Sam for helping me learn all the forms.That is how I feel now that I have achieved my black belt.

Matthew Pierce

Now that I have achieved my Black Belt, I feel proud and accomplished. Getting my Black Belt represents to me many years of hard work and perseverance. It shows that I never gave up on my way to becoming a Black Belt. It shows that I have persevered through mental and physical challenges. Now that I have my Black Belt, I feel physically and mentally stronger. I feel that I have an important responsibility to encourage and teach other people so they can progress in their ranks. I am thankful to the many people who have supported and taught me. I have made many friends who have motivated me to train harder. I am excited to continue to learn more about how I can improve my skills and how Ican be a better leader and teacher.

Lia Bellemare

Hello! My name is Lia Bellemare and I am so proud to get my first Dan black belt. Taekwondo has helped me with so many things: confidence, strength, and perseverance. There were times where it was really hard and I didn’t think that I would get my black belt. But I still managed to push through and achieve what I never thought possible! I now feel so accomplished and proud of myself! I am so happy that I kept going and never quit.

Jordan Bellemare

I have been working to get my black belt for a long time, and it took me longer to achieve that goal than expected. It took lots of hard work and endurance. It’s a goal I have worked very hard to achieve, but with a lot of effort, I was able to do so. I will cherish my achievement for the rest of my life. 

Henry Otipoby

My name is Henry and I’ve been doing Taekwondo for 4 years. I am very happy and proud that I earned my black belt on December 19, 2021. Doing Taekwondo has taught me how to fight and protect myself so if I’m in a situation where I have no choice but to protect myself or fight, then I’m well prepared. For me to do that I had to make sure I worked very hard, stayed focused and kept on going until I reached my goals. Doing Taekwondo has made me stronger and more confident. I enjoy learning the forms and working hard on them to make sure they are powerful and precise. I’m thankful for my teachers, Miss Shim, Sam, and Ilya for teaching me from white belt to black belt, and my parents for bringing me to taekwondo every week. I’m excited to become a youth leader and work towards my 2nd Dan Black Belt.

Pablo Acevedo

A black belt to me means, all the hardwork, effort, and commitment I have put into getting it. I am very proud of what I have accomplished, and I am excited to continue learning the new forms.  It really means alot to me and it has taught me that It takes time and patience to reach your goals.

Isabella Acevedo

A black belt to me means that I have worked so hard and it is a big responsibility to become one. It takes a lot of time, patience, dedication, and hard work to get every single belt and I finally became a black belt. My future goal for Taekwondo is to memorize all black belt forms and to help other kids with their forms and technique. I also want to make other kids that are lower belts to get excited to become black belts one day. It really means a lot to me to be a black belt and I am really happy to take on this big responsibility. When I was a white belt I did not think I would become a higher rank, but due to my hard work, I am one now. Now I am a white belt who never gave up!

Saanvika Gandhari

When I started Taekwondo, I was unsure of how long I’d stick with it. But shortly after starting, I found myself enjoying it and looking forward to each class. One of the things I have taken away from taekwondo the most is perseverance. While learning how to spar and execute the forms, I also learned to persevere and not to give up when something was difficult. And not only that, but taekwondo has also greatly boosted my self-confidence. Receiving my black belt has been one of my biggest achievements. When I found out that I had passed my black belt test, I felt incredibly proud of myself. I would like to thank all the amazing instructors who have helped me along the way because I would not have been able to receive my black belt without them. I hope to continue working hard to receive my second degree in the future. I am also looking forward to helping younger students.

Saif Shaik

Hi, my name is Saif Shaik and I am 16 years old. I am a junior at Ashland High School. I recently earned my first degree black belt, and I’ve been doing Taekwondo for around three years. Taekwondo has helped me become more confident in myself and my decisions. I’ve gained confidence in my self-defense and safety since starting Taekwondo. I intend to continue honing all of my techniques and sparring skills while also assisting others with theirs.

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