The World Tae Kwon Do Center in Lake Worth held its annual Black Belt presentation and belt graduation on Saturday, Aug. 22. Head instructor Master Gina Anacleto advanced 10 students to first degree black belt and higher after two days of testing to measure their physical and philosophical martial arts values.
The center holds black belt testing only once a year. Rigorous preparation is required for participation and promotion. Over six hours, they must demonstrate proficiency in everything learned since white belt level, and perform in sparring, empty hand self-defense, pattern movements and board breaking.
A black belt candidate can spend more than five years training to prepare. The youngest started tae kwon do when they were five. Now Xander Joros, Katherine Livingston and Liam Rengstl are age 11. Some started later in life: the oldest, at age 60, professional engineer José Noriega, started studying martial arts in 1978. Mahtab Walters worked toward her first degree black belt for five years alongside her son, Rameen Walters, who earned his 3rd Dan degree this year.
The Black Belt graduation ceremony was judged by Anacleto, a 5th degree black belt, and presided over by Grandmaster Joo-Yul Oh, 9th degree black belt.
Promoted to black belt 1st degree were: Joshua Davis, Xander Joros, Katherine Livingston, José Noriega, Liam Rengstl, and Mahtab Walters. Promoted to black belt 2nd degree were Landon Caballero and Andrew Gates. Brandon Baker and Rameen Walters were promoted to black belt 3rd degree.
World Tae Kwon Do Center is located at 6680 Lantana Road. For more info., call (561) 434-9700 or visit www.mytaekwondocenter.com.
ABOVE: (Front row) Liam Rengstl, Xander Joros, Grandmaster Joo-Yul Oh, Master Gina Anacleto, Katherine Livingston, Landon Caballero and Joshua Davis; (back row) José Noriega, Mahtab Walters, Rameen Walters, Andrew Gates and Brandon Baker.