Generation TKD

A Closer Step Towards Black Belt

Carla Bayot

To so many of the Generation TKD students, belt promotions were one of those rite of passages kids were eager to reach.  Another step attained and another step closer to their black belt goal.  Master Chino helped manifest these dreams, and hoped to build self-confidence, integrity and an indomitable spirit.  Master Chino said, "It is how a student looks within themselves during a test, and how they process through their promotion.  This is what I try to observe during the test."

For some of the belt testers, they were not part of Master Chino's highly competitive competition team members.  He acknowledged that not everyone who signs up with him will invest 8-10 hours of TKD training.  To most, the 2 to 3 times of regular class training was all they could muster.  Master Chino firmly expressed, "I adjust my requirements accordingly as to what I expect. I grades them based on their journey during the test, and not how many boards they break."

As for his more mature students, Master Chino promoted 7 of his green belters to green advance.  Another adult milestone to add under their ever growing belt collection.  To the young kids already enrolled in Master Chino's regular classes, the adult class was no comparison.  The adult class was attended purely for self-motivation to keep active and to learn a thing or two about themselves.  When they all first started, Master Chino nurtured their very humble dreams of "I just want to stay active."  Fast forward a year later, Master Chino asked them during their test, "Why are you still in TKD?"

Susan, whose son is Master Joseph Ong is a 4th degree Black Belt, stated with confidence, "I started it and my goal is to finish it.  I don't quit and I wanna attain my Black Belt."  Proudly, Master Joseph gushed about his mother, "she has been my biggest fan and support.  Mom has always put all of us first, and I'm glad she's doing this for herself."

Arnel Agustin drummed out the same goal of someday attaining his black belt and maybe compete at the American Open in 2 weeks.  He could not even disguise his giddiness at the thought that he could very well compete just like his daughter Kaelynn, "Instead of a father-daughter dance, maybe we could do a father-daughter forms pairing."

Jhet Clemente quickly responded, "Well if I encourage both my kids to compete, I feel like I could too.  I want to someday be as good as my boys and share with them my own dreams of being a black belt."  Jhet worked out a goal with Master Chino that he wanted to shed some weight in order to fulfill the goal of maybe competing at the California State Championship.

Master Chino's very own mother Minette was asked the same question, and happily proclaimed, "I'm still here and to see if I can push my capacity.  My goal is to hopefully reach red and then black.  Remembering Chino grow up under his father's tutelage, I have a better empathy of what it really takes to do TKD.  Now, I do this for myself and my grandkids."

Helen Lee's daughter Bailey joined TKD 1.5 years ago.  To Helen, Bailey was all the motivation she needed to use TKD as a form of exercise.  She added, "I want to continue and not give up because I want Bailey to know that I know what she's going through.  I want to be a good example for her, and I will go through almost anything for my kids"  Her personal goal was also to get to black belt as well. 

Ana Sabau stuck it out in TKD because she see it as a challenge and a great stress reliever.  "I stick it out because I want Sophia to know that I will do this her.  Mother and daughter will be a formidable pairing once we both get our black belts," she laughed.

Ana's husband and fellow classmate Andre simply uttered, "I joined because it makes Sophia happy and makes Ana happy.  Happy Wife Happy Life.  They are my everything."

Master Chino believed that the improvement of students starting out and seeing their parents working out with them becomes an inspiration to the kids.  There is room in TKD for all ages.  After a little over a year of attending, his adult students are true testaments that it is never too late to become a black belt, and he will for sure keep holding their hands until they attain it.