Excerpts from five Black Belt Candidates' essays
First bi-annual Chosun Black Belt Test of 2015
officiated by martial arts pioneer, Grandmaster Richard Chun
"When I earned my Brown belt, I practiced even harder than before. I learned my new requirements and I earned my stripe. Then we started practicing our breaks. After I tried out my break, I talked with Mrs. Pyke. She said that she thought I was ready to break a one inch thick board using a "palm heel strike." She encouraged me to do it. I was really nervous about this, but I talked to Master Cook before the test and he told me to speak with Instructor Garrett. Instructor Garrett held for me. I broke the one inch board with a palm heel and earned my High Brown belt. I was so excited."
by Julius Radakovits, First Dan Black Belt
"When I got my yellow belt it was great but that wasn't the only thing I got. I also made a new friend and his name is Sean. He was the greatest friend I ever knew. I sometimes pick him for Il su sik and sparring. This was a great day."
by Jose Martinez, First Dan Black Belt
"Knowing now that the black belt test is about a month away, I feel nervous that one of the biggest days of my life is coming so quickly. When I come to class I work hard and try to make my forms the best as they could be. I think the hardest part of being a bodan is that you need to remember all of the previous requirements and forms, but I know with practice you can make that easier. In my opinion the best part of being a black belt will be that I know now that I am strong enough to protect myself and others around me. Also I will be proud that I have received this high rank. I will know that if I put my mind to something I will be able to accomplish anything I work hard for. I look forward to going deeper into Taekwondo and seeing the true meaning of "foot-hand-way."
by Jonathan Vargas, First Dan Black Belt
"Now that I am a bodan, testing to be a black belt, I am proud of myself and the work I have done to get here. I am also proud to be testing in front of Grandmaster Chun on the 60th anniversary of taekwondo. Someday, I hope to get my 9th Dan black belt, just like Grandmaster Chun. To do that, I must first get my 1st Dan. That is why I am so happy to be testing today. I would like to thank Grandmaster Chun, Master Cook, all my instructors, my dad, Instructor Klugman, my sister, Olivia, my mom, and my twin, Ella. They have all supported me and I love them all very much."
by Noah Klugman, First Dan Black Belt
" My favorite memory of all, so far, was when I got my trophy for Outstanding Achievement for the May 19th, 2013 belt test. I was a green belt, testing for my blue belt and I sparred with Sammy. I was scared when my name was called because everyone was staring at me. I feel taekwondo teaches me to not be a bully but to know how to defend myself against bullies. Taekwondo has taught me to not give up, keep on going and don't stop trying."
by Amelia Barravecchia, First Dan Black Belt