Our New 3rd Dans

SAM YOO

Honestly, I thought becoming a third dan would be impossible for me. I went to college shortly after I got my first dan black belt and completely stopped practicing taekwondo for several years. I always regretted that. At the same time, I also couldn’t imagine returning to it after I’d basically forgotten everything.

But Ms. Shim encouraged me to come back to the Ashland school. It was a little overwhelming at first, diving back in. Once I got into the rhythm of things though, taekwondo started to become fun again.

Making it to third dan is a wonderful milestone of all the progress I’ve made.

Thank you to Ilya and Alex, for working with me on sparring. I couldn’t have survived the two-on-one full-range sparring without you. 

And thank you to Ms. Shim, for helping me return to taekwondo.

GAURAV BHATNAGAR

I am so proud and honored to earn the rank of third degree black belt. To be honest this is something that I did not think was possible when the first wave of Coronavirus hit in March of 2020. I was working hard before then to try and possibly test in an upcoming test, but with the whole world shutting down due to COVID I did not think this would ever be possible. When the quarantine first started I had no intention of doing any Taekwondo, but then I saw that Mr. Kim was running online classes that I was invited to join. At the time I was not very interested and I did not do it, but then after a month without Taekwondo I realized how much I missed it, so I decided to do the online class. For the first week I was very stressed and scared before the classes, but time passed and all of a sudden I had been doing the online classes everyday for a year. After a year of hard work online with Mr.Kim, I noticed the progress and Mr.Kim also noticed the significant progress I had made as well and he invited me to try and test for my third degree black belt. Another 3 months of hard work and I had accomplished my goal of earning my third degree black belt. I would like to thank all of my instructors that helped me along this journey: Mr.Kim, Ms.Shim, Ilya, and Alex. I would like to thank all of my friends that were with me throughout the entire process and helped me train to get to the level I am at today. Lastly I would like to thank my family for always supporting me and pushing me to be better in everything that I do. My next steps will be to serve as an Instructor for the younger belts and help them achieve their goals.

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