March 15th, 2014
Black Belt Test in Broomfield
Broomfield, Colorado was the site of a Black Belt test in the morning of March 15. The distinguished panel included Grand Masters Mike Winegar, Renee Sereff, and Paul DeBaca and Sr. Masters Stan Martin, Kirk Steadman and Dan Griffin. At the Corner was Fourth Dan Jason Rose.
A large crowd of family, friends, and Taekwon-Do practitioners witnessed students of several schools and several states testing for First Dan, Third Dan, and Fourth Dan.
Testing for First Dan were Mr. Eduardo Riemenschneider, Mr. Dawson Ramirez, Miss Jaclynne Twietmeyer, Mr. John Hughes, Miss Cassandra Miller, Mr. Ryan Phu, and Miss Kira Donahue.
Testing for Third Dan was Mr. Tim Kerrigan.
Testing for Fifth Dan were Ms. Thora Pabst, Ms. Mei-Li Lin, Mr. Dan Fitch and Mr. Eric Gemmell.
Grand Master Paul DeBaca's remarks after the test were singularly apt. Praising the candidates for their efforts and training, he pointed out that the discipline essential to Taekwon-Do would be its own reward throughout life and they could take joy and pride in having tested themselves.
A cake was served immediately after, and candidates joined the Masters' Pig Roast early that evening as part of their celebration.
Congratulations are owed all participants; well done!--F.M. Van Hecke, YHE
March 15th, 2014
Historic Masters' Test
By F.M. Van Hecke
The largest combined Masters' Test in the history of the United States Taekwon-Do Federation took place the afternoon of March 15th. The test was also marked by the presence of every Grand Master within the USTF. Presiding were Senior Grand Master Charles E. Sereff and Grand Masters Mike Winegar, Renee Sereff, and Paul DeBaca.
Continuing to serve with focus and inspiration at the Corner was Fourth Dan Jason Rose.
As we know, USTF applies the term "Master" only to those who have received the Seventh Degree of Black Belt. Thus the population of Masters is a tiny fraction of the vast number of Black Belts, now well over 11,000, who have tested in USTF-sanctioned events. Given the attrition of the years, termination of studies at earlier degrees, deaths and drop-outs, active Masters, spread throughout the United States, are fewer than half a hundred.
Given the importance and rarity of such high ranks it is the norm for Senior Grand Master Sereff to travel throughout the country in administering such tests. But in 2014 to promote our unity, to enhance our internal friendships and connections, minimize staff travel and honor the recipients, Masters' tests were held at Sereff Taekwon-Do in Broomfield.
The field was enormous for a Masters' test, with candidates from the far reaches of the United States.
Testing for Seventh Dan Masters were the following: Mr. Robert Martin, Mr. Robert Pettijohn, Mr. Guy Williams Mr. Barney Montano, Mr. Paul Byrne, Ms. Denise Moormeier, Mr. Lance Edwards, Dr. Steven Stasiak, and Mr. Matt Crackel. All did an outstanding job and have truly earned the title "Master."
Promoted to Eighth Dan Senior Master Instructors were Masters Dan Griffin and F.M. Van Hecke.
ln his remarks after the testing, Senior Grand Master C.E. Sereff made note of the fact that many associations do not require a physical test for Seventh Degree. Despite the many decades of Taekwon-Do experience and active training required and the many gray hairs in evidence, this group was made up of the very kinds of people who sought out the challenge and bested it.
Sereff Taekwon-Do graciously hosted a celebratory pig roast that evening.
In a room suffused with a heady mix of power, speed, expertise, focus and love, a shining moment took its place in a proud history.
Senior Masters after being promoted by Senior Grand Master Charles Sereff, IX Dan (center).
Masters cutting the cake their way!