3 achieve first-degree black belts

Three students at Oswego’s Taeskwondo America recently received their first degree black belts during the 2013 Winter Black Belt Test Feb. 1 and 2 at Oswego High School.

Caitlin Lilly, Madison Malone and Kiara Barton tested for their first degree black belt and Assistant Instructor Bernadet Pryor tested for her third degree black belt.

Kiara Barton is 8 years old and the daughter of Jell Barton of Oswego. Kiara is a third-grade student at Fitzhugh Park Elementary in Oswego and is also involved in competitive dance and figure skating.

Kiara says her Taekwondo training has been a great place to learn self-defense and build self confidence, but also  make friends and just have fun.

Madison Malone, 12, is daughter of Julie Malone, and a sixth-grader at Fitzhugh Park Elementary. Madison said she enjoys krafting, riding her bike, swimming and sleeping when she’s not doing Taekwondo.

Madison says being involved in the Taekwondo school has provided her with a place where she’s learned self-control, respect and self defense, while at the same time, she’s had fun and made new friends.

Caitie Lilly, 11, is a sixth-grader at Kingsford Park Elementary in Oswego and is the daughter of Dawn and Marty Lilly of Oswego. Caitie is also involved in Girl
Scouts, plays basketball with the St. Paul Youth Basketball Leprechaun League and is also on the St. Paul’s Travel Team.

Caitlyn also finds time to play an instrument in the Kingsford Park Concert Band and is also a member of the student council. Miss Lilly says her Taekwondo training has been fun but it has also helped her build her self confidence.

Every four months, black belts from the Central and Northern New York Taekwondo schools gather and are provided the opportunity to further their advancement and training as black belts.

Once a student obtains a black belt, continued advancement as a black belt is accomplished by “Tip Testing.”

Each student tests his or her skills and knowledge of their Taekwondo curriculum and in turn earns a corresponding “colored tip” (a colored band affixed to a student’s belt indicating their level of achievement). The colored bands, in order, are yellow, green, blue, red, and brown.

A black belt student “Tip Tests” every six months, and after three years, and six “Tip Tests” later, a student is eligible to “Dan Test” — Fifth Dan is considered “Master” level.

Advancement beyond “Master Instructor” is achieved by one’s dedication and involvement in the art of Taekwondo and is at the discretion of an organization’s Grand Master.

In order to be eligible to test for first degree black belt, a student must study and train for a minimum of three years and demonstrate a proficiency in and knowledge of several Poomses (or forms), and numerous self defense, sparring and board breaking techniques.

Taekwondo training places a strong emphasis on respect, personal development and achievement, both physically and emotionally.  Both adults and children immediately benefit from the structure and energy Taekwondo offers, challenging each and every student to be their best and always demonstrate respect towards others.

Taekwondo America students train under Grand Master Sam Kim and Master Sung C. Kim of Rochester. Grand Master Sam Kim is one of the highest ranking black belts in the United States and his Taekwondo involvement as a Grand Master is recognized world wide.

For further information call Leo Pryor, head instructor at Taekwondo America, 135 E. Bridge St., Oswego, at 342-2470 or visit the website at www.oswegotkdamerica.com.

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