The looks of a black belt in martial arts can be
deceiving, but to actually own one and tie it around your waist takes
It was Tuesday, 6 PM; the day of my awards ceremony, I put on my
taekwondo uniform, tied my red belt around me and jumped into the car.
It was my last time wearing the red belt. I couldn't believe that I had
actually come this far. I even pinched myself a few times to make sure I
wasn't dreaming. I was, indeed going to receive my black belt today.
At my awards ceremony, it is a tradition to throw our old belt up in the
air, before receiving our new belts, like in a graduation ceremony.
My parents delivered a speech about my taekwondo journey to this moment.
Many of the people who attended the ceremony had helped me in some
fashion to get me here to this milestone, and my parents thanked all of
them on my behalf.
How did I arrive at black belt in taekwondo?
About three years ago, I started off as a white belt. I had been passing
each promotional testing without any struggle but that ended when I came
to red belt. I struggled to pass red belt to get to black for about six
There are four things you need to pass to qualify for the next belt:
sparring, the form, breaking a board, and answering a few questions on
the history of taekwondo. I could never break a board, and I failed two
tests to get to black belt for that reason. I spent a lot of my free
time practicing breaking the board, months before testing. I was
determined to earn this black belt, and I did not give up. Later, when I
went to test for my black belt for the third time, I finally broke the
board, not only that, but I did my forms, sparring, and I even answered
a few questions. Excitement arose in me because I was officially a black
To celebrate, I went out for ice cream with my family and friends right
after my testing, which took place on an early Saturday morning.
Everyone was proud of me, including my parents, teachers, and friends. I
still remember being congratulated by many of my closest friends who had
been waiting for that moment. This is a memory that I will forever
I have worked very hard, and I certainly deserved the ice cream!