Friday, October 20, 2017

October Testing and News

Three young martial artists earned new black belts recently at the Stevens Point YMCA, demonstrating both skills and perseverance.

Mary Bunn, 13 years old, achieved third degree black belt after persevering to break her board with the difficult spinning hook kick.  Bunn, sponsored by her brother JP Bunn, also demonstrated advanced sparring and kicking skills and the taebek form.

Fourteen-year-old Chloe Bacon and ten-year-old Tyce Xiong earned deputy black belt status with their performances of five taegeuk forms, advanced kicking and sparring skills.  Bacon snapped a board with a working step back spinning side kick, while Xiong combined a long skipping side kic and back spinning side kick to break his board.

Three of the color belt level students took home trophies for excellence while earning higher belt levels.  High yellow belt Carolyn Doerr won first place, new green belt Eden Schmidt earned second and new green belt Michael Brandl took home the third place trophy.  The testing was judged by grandmaster Dwight Stevens, assisted by senior masters Mark and Hilde Henkel.

Special News for Stevens Taekwondo Academy:

Recently, Dr. Stevens announced his plan to step down at the end of the year from his position as the revered head and master instructor of Stevens Taekwondo Academy. He has been our honored leader over 36 years, teaching at the YMCA and prior to that having taught taekwondo in Madison. During that long time of leadership, Dr. Stevens has influenced a great many people in the community, at UWSP and in the sport. A celebration of his many achievements and contributions is planned for December 10 following the December testing.  This will be an open house type gathering from 3 to 5 pm right at the YMCA where he has contributed so much time and wisdom.  For more details about the arrangements, contact Master Hilde at

Senior masters Mark and Hilde Henkel will continue the YMCA program as Stevens Taekwondo Academy.  They hope for the continuing support of the many black belts who enrich the program.

Tournament News

Three students of Stevens Taekwondo Academy A New Way of Life competed successfully at the Mid-Wisconsin Taekwondo Championships in Wisconsin Rapids.

High green belt Ian Shelton won first place in sparring for the Cadet division of 13-14 year olds.

High blue belt Joseph Tomaszewski won first in the color belt peewee division for his board breaking.  Joseph used a butterfly kick and a working step back spinning side kick to break his boards.  He also took second place in the sparring for his division and fourth place in forms competition.

Third degree black belt Isaac Witte earned a second place using a switching front kick, a working step side kick and a spinning hook kick for his board breaking in peewee black belts.  Witte won second place in the sparring with a sudden death finale and added a fourth place finish in the forms competition.

The tournament sponsored by Park Institute drew 120 competitors to Mid-State Technical College.

Other Black Belt News: 
Sixth degree black belt John Henkel and his wife, third degree black belt Evie Williams, have welcomed their first child:  Hazel Williams Henkel.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

STA August 21017

In a sizzling summer finale, six martial artists earned new black belts in testings held at the YMCA and Stevens Taekwondo Academy: A New Way of Life recently.

Benjamin Goodberlet earned a fourth degree black belt and the title of master in his testing which included a duo of impressive jumping 360 side kicks breaking one and two boards, and a presentation contrasting the techniques of tai chi and taekwondo.  Goodberlet also performed advanced combinations, sparring and the pyungwon form.

Jeremy Kunst, Andrew Bowling and Isaac Witt achieved third degree black belt with their demonstration of  the taebek form, advanced sparring and advanced kick combinations.   The three also succeeded in a speed board break, using a spinning hook kick.

Alicia Rucker advanced to full black belt status after a rigorous testing which included                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         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demonstration of koryo and four taegeuk forms, advanced kick combinations and sparring and then an oral exam on the tenets and history of taekwondo.  She also snapped a board with a sharp spinning side kick.

Joining the ranks of black belt as a deputy black belt, Johanna Gebeau  broke her board with a spinning side kick, performed five taegeuk forms, and also demonstrated advanced kicks, and sparring skills.

A dozen color belts also were promoted, all demonstrating that their summer of training had improved skills and borne fruit.

Grandmaster Dwight Stevens judged the testings,  assisted senior masters Mark Henkel, Bill Dragolovich and Karen Johnson.

Scheduling note for YMCA classes:  Classes for August 29 & 31 will be held in the All Purpose Room (due to refinishing of gym floor)

Tell Your Friends:  "Try Taekwondo Free" will be run for the first two nights of the next session starting September 12 & 14.  If you have friends or relatives interested, this is their chance to try it out!

 Black Belt News

Senior masters Mark and Hilde Henkel led mini-intro classes at three different YMCA summer camps, where the children were very enthusiastic.

Master Dan Zierke appeared in the summer 2017 Provision Partner's Connection, with an article about soil testing benefits.