On Saturday, August 25, Taekwon-do International Founder and President, Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim, traveled to Master Marr's Taekwon-do in Shaker Heights, Ohio to oversee the promotion of senior ranks at Master Marr's Taekwon-do. In addition to a large number of color belts, school owners James Marr and Elaine Bayless had three students testing for 1st Dan and one testing for 3rd Dan. After achieving their personal best times running the required two miles, the 1st degree candidates--Kurtis Griffin, Nasir Rivers, and Jenny Steadman-- performed various color belt patterns, demonstrated their sparring skills, and then completed three board breaks each.
Testing for his 3rd Dan was 17-year-old Duncan Bayless-Marr, who has been training with his parents since he was four years old. In addition to his two-mile run and his patterns, Duncan fended off a pair of Black Belt opponents before executing three breaks he had never attempted, at the request of Grandmaster Kim: a suspended two-board reverse turning kick, a suspended two-board punch, and a jumping turning kick.
All four Black Belts submitted essays on the importance of Taekwon-do in their lives. Duncan talked about his long-term goal of becoming a Master Instructor, Nasir spoke about using the tenets of Taekwon-do in his daily life, Kurtis spoke of fulfilling a childhood dream, and Jenny explained how the dojang has given her a second family.