Parksville Taekwondo Academy’s annual test day turned out to be “a black belt extravaganza.”
Thirty-one students turned out at Qualicum Beach Community Hall last Sunday, and every one of them passed, which second generation PTA master Brett Fee said, “was, and will continue to be, a record number of Black belts graduating in one year.”
“The class of 2011 was truly historic in the sheer number of people dedicated to achieving this goal, and the event was one to remember,” he said.
Fee and the rest of the panel of judges — Grand Master Kim, an eighth Dan originally from Korea and living in Vancouver, and Brett’s dad, Master Murray Fee, who built the local dojang up during his 10 year tenure as school master — passed 26 students to first Dan Black Belt (first Dan out of 10 Black belt Dan levels).
Brett Swann, 12; Thalia Austin, 15; Morgan Chaddock, 16, and Marco Viedas, 17, all advanced to second Dan Black Belt, and Kayla Cochrane 15, “ she started when she was seven and has trained year in and year out,” was awarded her third Dan Black Belt.
“The students were tested both mentally and physically, and everyone rose to the challenge,” said Fee, explaining, “we don’t set students up to fail, instead, we prepare them for success. This is a key philosophy in Taekwondo training at our school, and this is why we continue to be one of the strongest Martial Arts schools in the area.
“Confidence can be very difficult to build, and easy to break, and I can tell you that every person who took part in this monumental day has more strength and belief in themselves to take on future challenges in their lives.”