Journey to Black and Beyond

by Noah Graber

My name is Noah Graber and this is how I got to black belt and what I plan to do after achieving black belt. In first grade, 7 years ago, I found out about Tae Kwon Do through a school program. I did a couple of months of Tae Kwon Do after school and I was hooked. I was hooked because I like sparring and wanted to learn more. So my dad looked for a school that accepted all ages and we found Mountain Academy. We did a couple of classes then we continued and tested for yellow belt when the next test came up.

I slowly advanced to yellow stripe then green belt. In between green and blue belt I wanted to stop but my dad urged me on. I wanted to stop because the test period in between green and blue is 9 months. When I got to red belt my sister, Hannah, joined but stopped at yellow stripe. In class I had fun doing after class games and sparring. Something I didn’t expect to learn was point sparring. My first tournament was when I was red belt and I won three medals. I won medals for point sparring and breaking boards. I had tons of fun doing sparring and playing around afterwards.

When I taught forms it felt good to know that the other students were learning new things. So with knowing that I decided to teach after black belt. I started teaching when I was red belt .Teaching was hard at first but got easier as I went on teaching. The hard part was when the kids I was teaching were not paying attention to what I had to say. Also when I had fine-tuned everything and not knowing what to do next. Teaching in front of the class was hard because I had to talk in front of all of the class. One on one teaching is easy because I could focus on something for an extended amount of time and not have to worry about another student. In a small group you had to focus on more than one student at a time instead of one.

After I achieve black belt I might go for second degree and possibly third degree black belt. I am considering going for second degree because it is a rank higher than black. And that means that I will be one rank a head of my dad. I might come to class once a week because I am ready to take a break and focus on other things because of school and homework.

What inspired me to get black belt was it represents hard work. The journey to black was fun and amazing. It was fun because of sparring, tournaments, games and point sparring. The journey to black belt was amazing because of the things I learned and things I taught.