My Black Belt Journey

Avika Black Belt Picture

I have been doing Taekwondo since I was three and a half. It was fun, but there were challenges along the way. In these paragraphs, I will tell you about every step of my experience, so if you are reading this and want to try out this kind of martial art, you will get a feel of what it is like.

White belt was the first belt I had, so the training was by far the easiest. We learned simple kicks and how to punch correctly. We also learned basic stances such as side stance, horse stance, high stance, and low stance. Our masters and instructors were soft on us and made us perform these in a game kind of manner. We also learned our first form, which is Ke Ban Il Jan, our first hand technique, and our first kicking technique.

Yellow stripe belt was also one of the easiest. We learned Ke Ban Ee Jan, which was our new form, and the new hand and kicking techniques. We found out that each belt had its own hand and kicking techniques, and its own form.

The next few belts had the following components:

  • learn the techniques
  • learn the form
  • do some drills to practice the kicks and punches
  • other activities

Once you knew the things you needed to know for the current belt, the masters would qualify you for the next belt testing, which happened once every three months. If you cleared, you got the next belt. If you didn’t, you would repeat the same as part of next belt testing exam. The belts that were comparatively easy were yellow belt, yellow belt green stripe, green belt, and green belt blue stripe. This was the period when the masters and instructors started getting a bit more serious about practice.

During my blue belt period, I learnt about sparring. Sparring is a sport where you wear body gear from head to toe, and you fight someone else. You can do practice sparring with your classmates, with gear, or you can go to actual sparring tournaments, where it is more competitive. There are games you can play to learn how to spar. One game I played when I was learning was King of the Hill. In this game, one person is elected king of the hill. They go to an area that is, “the hill”. A different person who wants to be the king of the hill challenges the king to a sparring contest. If they win, they become the king. If not, they go back. More people can challenge the king until one person has defeated everyone. The belts in which we included sparring the most were blue belt, and blue belt red stripe.

When you get your red belt, everyone starts getting serious about black belt. We also start learning new kicks. I learnt many new kicks that I had never known about, for e.g. inside round kick. Training started becoming really tough during that time. After I got my red belt gold stripe belt, corona started. I started doing my class online, but it still was challenging. My red belt black stripe belt was the hardest. We trained harder than we did before and after every class, I was sweaty and exhausted, but it helped a lot for my black belt test.

Hanmadang is a sporting event that you need to participate in to get your black belt. There are different activities you can sign up for, such as freestyle kicking, form showing, and even an event where you make up a form! You have to do the Hamadan twice in order to get your black belt, but it is fun too! You win trophies and the organizers provide snacks! Just register, practice and show your talent.

Hanmadang events at Dickinson High School Jersey City

Black belt is awesome. I am learning how to use weapons like nun-chucks, sticks, and knifes. I am also having lots of fun. I still work hard, and Taekwondo is still tiring, but I will continue the journey as it takes me.

Fun Pictures at the Jersey City Taekwondo and Kickboxing Academy