Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Alton Ganslen's "Why I Want To Be A Black Belt"

I started Tae Kwon Do on January 28, 2015, when my grammy and papa signed me up. After talking to Mr. Strickland they thought Tae Kwon Do would help me with my anger, patience, focus in school and self-control. I didn’t know I would have to write a paper on why I wanted to be a black belt when I started, but WHO WOULDN’T WANT TO BE A BLACK BELT! Black belts have earned respect for their hard work and staying with it and that’s when I decided to work hard and try to become a black belt. During the process I have made a lot of friends, both higher and lower belt ranks. Three of my best friends at Tae Kwon Do are Karlea, Aniket and Bryce who have all pushed me to try harder.

When I got further into Tae Kwon Do I set another goal of becoming an instructor after watching the instructors work with students. I thought it would be fun to do the same thing because I like helping other people. I have been doing Tae Kwon Do for almost three years and for two of them I was on the Demo Team. The Demo Team practiced every Sunday for 2 1/2 hours and after many months of hard work we would compete against other Demo Teams. The Teams I were on competed in Orange Beach, Alabama and Dallas. I will probably join the Demo Team again since I had a lot of fun but I am taking a year off to play football on my 7th grade team.

One of the other things I had fun doing during my black belt journey was traveling with my family and grandparents to different tournaments. I really like to compete against other people and work to get better each time I do. When I was with my grandparents they would plan many stops along the way for us to visit. Some of the things we visited when we went to Nationals in Orange Beach, Alabama, were the USS Alabama Battleship and the Vicksburg National Military Park. I also really enjoyed playing in the Gulf of Mexico even though the water was cold. It is a lot of fun traveling and seeing different parts of Texas when going to Regional tournaments and other states when going to Nationals.

I am also learning self-defense techniques and how to protect myself from others if I ever have to. Some of the techniques I have learned are cross

hand grab and the wedge which have different ways to do it. I also got my patch in Raposa De Prata which is submission grappling or also called ground fighting. I have also enjoyed weapons classes. Some of these weapons I trained with are nun chucks, bo staff, escrima and the bamboo sword seminars. Out of the four weapons I have worked with the nun chucks are my favorite because you can do a lot of cool tricks and disarms with them. I also really like doing bo staff.

All of these are the reasons why I want to be a black belt and also to continue learning Tae Kwon Do. 

Why I want to be a Black Belt: by Karlea Mitchell



            There are multiple reasons why I want to become a black belt.One reason is because as I become a black belt, things will become more challenging.I also want to be able to test for chevrons. Another reason why I want to become a black belt is because when you are a black belt, you get to learn a whole new variety of things.The last reason that I want to become a black belt is because when I get my 1st degree black belt, I can hopefully start training to become an instructor.
When I become a black belt things will become increasingly more difficult and I will face lots of new challenges. I am looking forward to these new challenges because the harder the challenge, the more accomplished I feel when I overcome it. Also, new challenges can be very exciting. New challenges present new learning opportunities. Overcoming these challenges is a way of measuring my success..
When I become a black belt, I can also start testing for chevrons. I will get to learn tons of wrist releases. Hopefully I get to learn some more ground fighting as well. They will also make me better at the regular things we do in class because sometimes we do wrist releases in class.
When I become a black belt, I will get to learn a whole new variety of things that I have not ever seen or had the opportunity to do before.These things will also be a lot more advanced which makes learning them even more fun. The new things I learn as a black belt will also be more useful to me in things like tournaments. I will also get to eventually pass my newly found vast amount of knowledge down to others who are lower than me.
When I become a black belt I can hopefully start training to be an instructor. This means I can enroll in the tiger team class and learn the forms necessary for my first collar.Then once I have my first collar, I can start teaching the younger belts to be the best they can be at their belt rank.This will make them better in the future because if the younger belts can comprehend and do everything they need to be able to do at their belt rank then they can move on early and become more knowledgeable and become advanced at their belt rank. When they become advanced this will make it easier for them as they move up the belt ranks because they might already know how to do some advanced things that aren’t complicated for them because they learned those things early on. When I get my next collar I will get to teach a whole new set of skills to a whole new group of people..
In conclusion,I want to become a black belt because things will become more challenging, I will be able to test for chevrons, I will get to learn a whole new variety of things, and I will hopefully get to become an instructor. 3 years ago I came to Stricklands Taekwondo to do one thing and that was to become a black belt. Now I am finally a recommended black belt and it is time for me to get my First Degree Decided and do all the other things that came after that.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Another Black Belt Essay: The Austin Wright Story

Mr. Austin Wright

Without a doubt, the black belt is one of the most revered ranks in taekwondo. There are few people who don’t recognize its importance within its respective martial art, but many of those who understand its importance don’t fully comprehend its meaning. To be a black belt doesn’t mean that a student of martial arts has completed a few steps and requirements. To be a black belt doesn’t mean that one is an indestructible force of nature, and can shatter any opposition with the flick of a hand. To be a black belt is to not just be efficient in martial arts, but to be a well-rounded individual, and to be well-practiced in taekwondo and its principles.
Black belts are meant to be an example to others, a representation of taekwondo and its most respected members. One cannot be a black belt without simultaneously being a teacher. A teacher of character, confidence, and of course, taekwondo. Courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit are embodied within black belts. They exude confidence in whatever they are pursuing. Hyper-awareness towards the black belt’s own actions is crucial, as they are role models to not only other students of taekwondo, but to those who do not practice martial arts as well. If ever a situation arises, a black belt cannot be a silent bystander to someone being wrongfully treated.
The black belt also represents growth as a person, and the journey an individual has taken to make such an accomplishment. Every black belt started as a white belt, and the progress they make through the belts is more important than earning the belt itself. That is the primary purpose of taekwondo. Not just for the art, or for the sport, but for the development of spirit, and to become a better version of oneself. Many students of taekwondo do not complete the journey from white to black belt, and for this reason, black belts are looked up to. They have demonstrated steadfast perseverance in achieving their rank, despite obstacles and hardships, both physically and mentally.
Although it is the highest achievable belt color in taekwondo, the black belt does not represent the end of martial arts training. In fact, it represents the progression to another stage of training. There is always more to learn, and black belts are those who are ready enough to learn other martial arts outside of taekwondo. This is part of the well-roundedness associated with black belts, and their ability to apply their teachings to any situations. No black belt should be a poor teacher.

Being a black belt isn’t just being able to kick higher than your peers, memorizing techniques, or being able to defend yourself. Being a black belt is to know yourself, to be a representation of the fundamental principles of taekwondo, and to learn more about martial arts as a whole, instead of just taekwondo. In all, being a black belt can be summed up by seven words: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Why I want to be a black belt by Tony Patrick

By: Tony Patrick

I would like to be a black belt because I have work very

hard since I was 3 years old to learn Taekwondo. I have also

gone through some tough time in Taekwondo, for example not

passing a belt tasting. Another example me breaking boards for

the first time.

I would also like to be an instructor so I can help kids

like me get to learn Taekwondo. I would also like to learn forms

that I forgot over the pass years. Also, I would like to help

Maggy so she can focus and learn. I can judge at tournaments,

so I can be time keeper, score keeper and keep track of the

people that move on. I can also help kid practice to test for


I get to test for chevrons when I am a black belt. When

I am waiting to test for rank again, I can test for chevrons. I can

also learn more way to get away when bullies grab me. Also, I

can use my Raposa de Prata skills to test for chevrons.

Another reason I need a black belt, so I can open a new

school and to make money for needs and wants. Also to take

care of my grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, sister, and cousins.

Another example is that I need to make money so I can help my

cousins pay for food and water, also I can make money to pay

for a house. When somebody tries to steal my cousins stuff I

can help him get his stuff back.

Another reason I get to learn new forms and new

kicks. I get to learn how to teach kids how to do taekwondo. I

learn how to hold a board for people that are going to break it.

I will also learn how to show a kid their form. I will learn how to

break a board with a spin kick.

I would like to be a black belt because I can help my

friends if they get bully by someone. One time someone just

walked up to us and pushed my friend down. Then, I kicked

him. When he tried to punch me, I was able to dodge it.

When I become a black belt and become an instructor

I will keep a binder so when I get a job I can show them this. So

when somebody tries to rob the store. I can scare the robber


A very important is how proud I made my family of

me and how they told me to do my best. Also, how they

encourage me to break boards for the first time, and how they

gave me tip for a tournament so I can win. Also, how some of

my teacher encourage me and my fellow classmates. Also, my

friends made me believe that I can do it. Last but not least, my

instructors help me get my black belt and always keep me

focused. That is why I want to be a black belt.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Lara Makkapati: Why I want to be a black belt

Black Belt and Its Importance in my Life 

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Lara Makkapati and I am 8 years old. I am writing this essay to express my joy and excitement about being one step closer to achieving my black belt in taekwondo, In 2013 when I was 4 years old, I wanted to learn something new and challenging. So my parents enrolled me in Strickland's Taekwondo. Like all parents they wanted me to learn from the best. So four years and 16 taekwondo belts later, I am so close to achieving my goal.

Practicing taekwondo helped me overcome fear and made me braver. It also taught me discipline, focus and respect. In the beginning, remembering the various forms was a big challenge. As I kept practicing the various forms again and again, it taught me how to learn new things. It also helped me stay focused at my education and at school. Sparring showed me how to defend myself and get rid of my fear. Mr. Cain along with Miss. Anderson made learning fun and helped me overcome my flaws. Being a black belt will help me learn lot more and also help me inspire and mentor other kids,

Along the way, I have had a few setbacks also, like not being able to do my form properly and not being able to break some boards. I never cried or though about quitting, but came back with more courage, energy and enthusiasm. I would like to thank my parents and master instructor Mr. Strickland for making it possible for me to become a black belt. I feel very proud that I am about to achieve my first degree black belt at only 8 years old and I will continue my pursuit for 80 more years to become strong and successful and learn more things. Becoming a first degree black belt, is just my first shining moment in my life and I hope to achieve much more.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

How To Be An "All-Around" Athlete: Part One (grace and precision)

I have had some students who seem to have some innate ability to just be awesome at whatever sport they get into. These students are referred to as “all-around” athletes. You can pick them out in Taekwondo class; they are the ones that are striking targets with grace and precision, tend to have a smile on their face while moving and seem to be the most focused. This blog post is part one of three, addressing what makes the “all-around” athlete so good at sports.
            Controlling your body in sporting situations will undoubtedly be a foundation for success. When (most) students start their Taekwondo journey, their intentions are far from developing body control. They want to be able to kick high and kick fast, and jump and spin while doing it, just like their favorite characters on their TV shows (or movies). Although the intention is not bad, I would like to express an alternate view of the benefit in training in Taekwondo (particularly, this school’s programs).
            We can all agree that an “all-around” athlete is one who is good at whatever sport they take up. The belief that the athlete was born with a gift that allows them to excel should be challenged. Consider that the athlete is not be born with the athletic ability, but actually has developed, to a high degree, a large number of different motor abilities. In fact, this consideration has been a well-supported by many in the fields of motor development and motor control. When describing motor abilities, many people (as we will do) turn to the listing of perceptual motor abilities developed by Edwin Fleishman. This group of motor abilities includes multi-limb coordination, Control precision/Aiming, Response Orientation, Rate Control, Reaction Time, Wrist/Finger/Arm Speed and Hand/Finger Dexterity. To define all of these abilities would be exhausting and not the intention of this article. It is important to know that all of those abilities do contribute to an athlete’s ability to success in any physical endeavor.
            The wonderful thing about training in Taekwondo (actually Strickland’s Martial Arts program in particular) is it incorporates drills that help develop all of the motor abilities from low to high degrees. Let’s look at the weapons classes that are available to our students. These teach/develop certain abilities (Response Orientation, Control Precision, Hand/Finger Dexterity, etc.) that the Taekwondo class alone does not achieve. For instance, when we work drills in escrima classes, the abilities developed can be used to better control the swinging of a baseball bat or a golf club. Unfortunately, there are a number of students that do not express interest. This shrinks the range of the different motor abilities that can be developed. When working target (or bags) drills, we focus on aiming, rate control, or speed of arm (leg) movement. All of which transfer to other sports such as American Football (hand placement for linemen). If we take sparring into analysis, we see that a multitude of motor abilities are being developed and can transfer to soccer where players need to react to the other team.
            I want to take this time to mention abilities that relate to gross motor skills such as strength (static, dynamic and explosive), flexibility, gross body coordination/equilibrium and endurance. We could also mention balance (both static and dynamic), visual acuity and visual tracking. All of these physical proficiency movements (as they are called) can be better developed in Taekwondo class, as well as weapons classes (Bo/Chuck/Escrima).

            When all of these abilities are learned, and developed to a high degree, it helps to create the “all-around” athlete that we might want to be. The scope of this article was to briefly describe the physical attributes that make athletes successful in sports or any physical activity/movement, and how our programs at Strickland’s Martial Arts helps to develop those skills. However, the physical domain of human movement does not describe the success entirely. In order to do that, we further our conversation in part two and three of How To Be An “All-Around” Athlete.