Imagine having the confidence and motivation to learn and assist others in Tae Kwon Do. Katelyn and Nicholas Dembkoski are students at Holly Springs High School and Yong-In Martial Arts and they are are working towards completing their black belts. They want to spread the word of how beneficial and healthy Tae Kwon Do is for everyone.
Originally from Rhode Island, the Dembkoski family moved to North Carolina and they wanted to make new friends and meet new people. They wanted a sport that people of all different ages could attend. Their neighbors recommended that they join them in a martial arts class. After the first class Katelyn and Nicholas found the class to be a perfect fit.
The black belt is the most recognized and highest belt color used in the martial arts. In order to be ready for black belt testing, Katelyn and Nicholas run a mile every day. They review and study all of their forms and self-defenses each day, while both practice in class and at home.
There are many requirements in order to be black belt tested. Students are to be tested every two months for a new belt to continue up in the ranks. The forms, self-defenses, and kicks learned from the previously achieved belts are important to remember while black belt testing. Another requirement Katelyn and Nicholas have to achieve is to tell their story of what they have learned about themselves and Tae Kwon Do.
Katelyn and Nicholas have learned much about themselves throughout this journey. “When we do Tae Kwon Do, we feel very confident and proud that we are doing something healthy for ourselves. We have learned that if we have the confidence to do something, that there is no doubt that we can do it. Along with that, we have learned much about the history of Tae Kwon Do and the Korean language,” they said.
For the past two years, they have been practicing to become fully prepared to be black belt tested. Until the November testing, Katelyn and Nicholas are currently in review.
“We both agree that we feel proud and excited and at the same time afraid,” Katelyn shared, “there is a lot of pressure in becoming black belts.”
After receiving their black belts, both students wish to assist others in learning their forms and help them achieve their own black belt.