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Central students complete taekwondo black belt testing

GANDER, NL – After years of training, 11 central Newfoundland students have received their taekwondo black belts.

Master instructor Philip Hollohan said students typically train for three to five years leading up to their final testing.

They are evaluated on their various patterns, one-step sparring, free sparing and wood breaking.

However, Hollohan said there’s so much more to taekwondo than self-defense.

The martial arts also promotes courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit.

“It’s about balance inwards and balanced outwards with society,” said Hollohan. “It’s about strengthening yourself personally, building the human spirit, and learning that there is value to life.”

To see his students reach that level of physical and mental preparedness brings Hollohan joy.

“To watch my students come that far, it was certainly a day of celebration,” he said.

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