Third Degree

I got my third degree black belt this past Monday. This was my first rank promotion in 12 years, so it’s been a while. Monday just happened to be one of the hottest days of the year, and the gym wasn’t air conditioned. Only four of us were testing – myself, two who got their black belts, and one who got his yellow belt. As I type this, the knuckles on my right hand are bruised, but it’s not that bad. I think it happened on the speed break punch during my three-stationed break.

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Two New Martial Arts Websites

Yesterday I officially launched two martial arts websites, one for my club and one for a foundation to support the legacy of my club’s grandmaster.

Ive been attending Silver Spring Martial Arts for 16 years now, and finally got around to making a site:

The other site, about Grandmaster Ki Whang Kim, is called the Ki Whang Kim Traditional Martial Arts Association and is dedicated to preserving his legacy. He was my master’s master.

As you can probably see, these sites look quite a bit like What can I say? I go with what works!

Dinner With a 9th Degree Black Belt

I had dinner tonight with one of the most interesting people I’ve met in a long while. His name is Albert Cheeks and he’s a 9th degree black belt, a former international fighter and a member of the Tae Kwon Do Hall of Fame. He studied under my instructor’s instructor, Master Ki Whang Kim.

I’ve been hearing about this guy for the 16 years I’ve been taking martial arts and finally got to meet him. He told us stories about Ki Whang Kim, a martial arts legend as well, about disrespecting Bruce Lee, about Chuck Norris, and many others. I listened intently, amazed at just about everything he said.

If you ever get a chance to have dinner, or even a conversation with a decorated martial artist, particularly one who has been around for many years, buy him a drink and don’t miss the opportunity. You’re sure to hear great stories.