April 2, 2009

Washburn Tae Kwon Do center advances 25 students

By Danielle Abbott

Roughly translated, the word tae means to strike or break with a foot, the word kwon means to strike or break with a fist, and the word do means simply that, a way or means. When you put those three powerful meanings together, you get a forceful and strict form of martial arts; tae kwon do. It’s not all about kicking, punching and breaking boards, but on March 16, local tae kwon do students were able to show their moves and prove that they have what it takes to master the martial art form. "Tonight is the color belt testing. It is basically a promotion test, we all move up and we all get promoted," said Jon Conklin, head instructor with the Washburn Tae Kwon Do Center. Conklin began studying tae kwon do in 2001, and he has been progressing rapidly through the program. He is currently a second-degree black belt and one of the instructors with the center. Students in tae kwon do start out as a no belt, and their first test will be for their white belt. After the white belt come the orange, yellow, green, blue and purple belts in the intermediate range. The brown, red and black belts follow in the advanced category. Each belt has a specific meaning, and each color can only be achieved by excelling at the prior level, and passing the necessary test. The opportunity for testing occurs approximately four times per year in Washburn, and Conklin explained that the students grow during the three months between tests, and that each student takes every test throughout the year.

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