Six students from Sequim’s Bodystrong Taekwon-do recently tested for, and earned, advancements to or within the discipline’s black belt ranks on Oct. 10.
With successful tests, each student was promoted to their next rank, with three students becoming brand new black belts — Jessica Golbeck, Aron Golbeck and Hunter Muckley — and one student achieved a “best at test” award (Adrian Golbeck). Both Linda Allen and Craig Fahrenholtz were promoted to fourth degree black belts, and are now considered instructors.
The Monarch Conference Center, Clackamas, Ore., was the venue for the 2020 Northwest-area black belt test, officiated by Grand Master Renee Sereff, the world’s first female Grand Master and head of testing for the United States Taekwon-do Federation.
Despite COVID-19 restrictions, Bodystrong students have been diligently training, pushing forward with their goals and improving their skills, said Bodystrong head instructor Brandon Stoppani.
Black belt tests consist of patterns (memorized attacks and defenses against an imaginary opponent, varying in length from 19 to 72 techniques), sparring (a demonstration of techniques against an opponent utilizing correct placement of appropriate technique) and breaking (destruction of wood boards and concrete tiles in a demonstration of power achieved by the individual), Stoppani said.
In the afternoon, Grand Master Sereff conducted a seminar, providing physical training along with anecdotes from the days of training and traveling with General Choi Hong Hi, the founder of Taekwon-do.