Last weekend Personal Mastery Martial Arts in Sandy, Utah successfully graduated nine students from the color belt ranks to their 1st degree black belt, as well as two students from their 1st degree black belt to their 2nd degree black belt. The black belt testing weekend kicked off with a six hour test on Friday night, followed by a two hour demonstration for friends and family on Saturday where black belts were awarded to those who had completed and passed their test.
The students who successfully passed their test and earned their 1st degree black belts are Carl Armstrong, Savannah Ayres, Annor Benson, Daniel Burtenshaw, Jay Burtenshaw, Luke Davis, Joe Ellingson, Collin Kees, and Serina Pollock. The students who advanced from their 1st degree black belt to their 2nd degree black belt are Atticus Benson and Chance Srey. Each of these students has been training in Tae Kwon Do at Personal Mastery Martial Arts for several years. In order to earn their black belts they had to go through a series of tests where they demonstrated their martial arts techniques, focus, self control, and never-give-up attitude. Their ages ranged from the youngest at just 9 years old to 47 years old – showing that no matter how old or how young you are, with the right attitude and training, anything is possible. They were an inspiration to all of their friends and family who came to cheer them on Saturday afternoon.
Their chief instructor, Master Aaron Doucet, was very excited for each of the new black belts. He said, “Being with these students form white belt to today, there’s no greater honor than teaching these students. Period. They have come so far, learned so much, and grown so much. It was so wonderful to see them get their black belts. After working and training with them for so long they are like family.”
The demonstration that the black belts and students testing for black belt performed on Saturday included a variety of martial arts skills. The students demonstrated their skills with weapons, kicking and punching techniques, sparring, self defense against one or multiple attackers, poomse (forms), board breaking, and even brick breaking. Many of their friends and family who came to watch them and cheer them on had not seen a martial arts demonstration before – and they got quite a treat with a fast-paced entertaining performance that even included a “guest star” appearance from Kung Fu Panda.
Serina Pollock’s aunt Amie Cox, who had never seen her do Tae Kwon Do before her black belt test, said, “I can’t believe what they can do. I was so impressed! Not just with Serina, but with all the kids. It was awesome!”
One of the new black belts’ fellow students, Suzy Davie, said, “I enjoyed seeing how far everyone has come and the new things they have learned. It was awesome to see how everyone came together as a team. It was such a great accomplishment for them, after seeing everything they overcame to earn their black belts.”
Carl Armstrong’s wife Alicia was very proud of him this weekend when he earned his black belt. She said, “I have watched all of the new black belts from the beginning. I have watched them grow in confidence and self esteem. I know that this has been a life changing experience for Carl, he has accomplished something he was not sure he could. He now believes in himself more than ever.”
Congratulations to the Personal Mastery Martial Arts black belt class of June 2014, from all of your friends and family! You did it!
For more information about martial arts in Sandy check out www.sandymartialarts.com