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.