Last weekend Personal Mastery Martial Arts hosted their semi-annual Accelerated Belt Challenge – an intensive weekend full of martial arts and leadership training. The students who participate not only earned their next Tae Kwon Do belt, but they also learned valuable lessons in leadership and many of them conquered their fears.
The weekend kicked off at Camp Williams in Utah. The participants went through a rappelling course at the Camp Williams rappelling tower, where many of them conquered their fear of heights. One student, Serina Pollock, who was initially afraid to try the rappelling, said afterwards, “The rappelling was really scary – but it was a great experience. I finally did it and I felt really good about myself.” Her grandmother who was watching said, “My granddaughter conquered her fears while her teammates cheered her on. Having team support was really cool.”
While at Camp Williams the students of Personal Mastery Martial Arts also participated in the Leadership Reaction Course – an obstacle course where teams work together to reach the end goal. This course allowed the students to learn how to be leaders of a team as they took turns directing the efforts of their team at each new obstacle.
The rest of the weekend consisted of weapons training with visiting instructor Master Wright from United Arts in Alabama. The students learned new techniques with pin chux, kama, and even sword. They were able to practice with the weapons and learned several different applications of how they could use them – including a special form of performance known as Halo Aura where the weapons glow under black lights.
One of the black belt students who attended the Accelerated Belt Challenge weekend, Nicholas Blanton, said, “My favorite experience was the rappelling. It was my favorite because I had never done that before and it was nice to try something new. The Leadership Reaction Course was difficult because I had to plan out what I had to do and explain it to others, but I learned a lot from doing it. I also loved the weapons. Kama is my favorite weapon now. I practiced with it at home the rest of the weekend.”
A parent who watched during the weekend, Christine Cox, said, “How they taught Leadership skills was absolutely amazing at this age. I even got some great ideas that I can use at my job now. I learned things as a parent observing.”