Thursday, December 14, 2017

December 10 2017 A Special Day

Nine martial artists finished up the year earning new or higher black belts in a very high energy promotion testing held at the Stevens Point YMCA recently.  

Fred Haack and Ian Jensen achieved the high rank of fifth degree black belt with their performance of the sipjin forma and demonstrations of advanced skills.  Haack explained the essential elements of successful board breaking and then proceeded to demonstrate by breaking multiple boards.  Jensen demonstrated a kali blade form and double stick fighting.  Jensen also fought two matches, against opponents of diverse techniques.

Jessica Tomaszewski, the mother- son duo of Carrie Murray and Gavin Murray, Brayden Charneski, Cabrini Brandl and Joanna Gebeau all earned full first degree black belt rank with their exhibition of skills.  The group answered an oral examination by Senior Master Mark Henkel which covered the history of taekwondo, the code and history of the hwarang warriors, school style and belt meaning. They also demonstrated kick combinations, sparring skills and koryo and four taegeuk forms.  Tomaszewski broke her board with a round house, back spinning hook kick, Carrie Murray with a back spinning side kick and Gavin Murray broke his board with a jumping back spinning side kick.  Charneski, the grandson of senior master Karen Johnson, shattered his board with a back spinning side kick.  Brandl used an inside crescent back spinning side kick to break her board and Gebeau broke with a back spinning side kick.

Ben Hultman entered the black belt ranks as a deputy black belt with his demonstration of five taegeuk forms,  sparring skills and advanced kick combinations.  Hultman smashed his board on the first attempt, using a back spinning side kick.

Three of the color belt students received trophies for excellence in testing.  Yellow belt Ben Pribel won first place, and green belt Nellie Jonjak earned second place with high red belt Isaac Bacon grabbing third place. 

This testing was judged by Grandmaster Dwight Stevens, the founder and long-time head of Stevens Taekwondo Academy, assisted by retired judge Timothy Vocke and sixth degree black belts Mark Henkel, Bill Dragolovich, Dr. Ron Locascio and Jerry Hajewski.  Master Kim Buehler directed the testing groups.

Celebration Gathering to Honor Dr. Stevens

The Stevens Point Area YMCA and the students and friends of Dr. Dwight Stevens gathered following the December testing to honor the long-time taekwondo instructor as he concluded 38 years of leading Stevens Taekwondo Academy.

The event brought friends and past and present students from all over the state together in a very happy reunion.  More than 50 black belts attended, with others sending greetings and best wishes in a booklet of letters and photos. The celebration included cake, with lots of photos, laughter and hugs.
Since 1981, Stevens has taught literally thousands of martial artists, with more than 500 of them achieving black belt levels.  Under his leadership, Stevens Taekwondo Academy has provided training, fitness and discipline which has benefited the many students.  Stevens’ emphasis on respect and perseverance helps students to succeed in many areas.  The family-friendly, all-ages-welcome program has retained practitioners for many years, including the husband-wife team of senior masters Mark and Hilde Henkel, who will be continuing the program at the YMCA.

Tournament News

High green belt Ian Shelton took first place for teen boys sparring recently.  He competed in the Great Midwest Championship in Milwaukee, sponsored by J. K. Lee Tae Kwon Do.

2018 Stevens Taekwondo Academy YMCA Schedule

First Session:                                       January 2 to February 8
February 8, 7:30                                Color belt promotion testing
**No classes February 13 & 15
Second Session:                                  February 20 to April 5
**no classes March 27 & 29
April 7, 1 pm                                      Black Belt and Color Belt promotion testing, APR
**No Classes April 10 & 12
Third Session:                                       April 17 to May 24
**No Classes May 29 and 30
Fourth Session:                                   June 5 to July 19 (no classes July 3 & 5) 
            June and August testing dates to be announced at a later date


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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         her 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.