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Curriculum videos are now available.  Please check the adult and children's testing requirements pages to see JD performing the forms.


Head Instructor: Mr. Rocky Burns

Rocky Burns.  Head Instructor

Mr. Burns began his Tae Kwon Do Training in 1982 and started Teaching Martial Arts in 2002.   Read More...


Assistant Instructor: Mr. JD Burns


JD Burns started his martial arts training at the age of 6.  Read More...


Assistant Instructor: Miss Taylor Burns


Taylor Burns has been practicing the art of Tae Kwon Do, since  the age of 6 years old.  Read More...

Wrestling Club assistant Instructor: Mr. Josh Kilfoyle


Josh Kilfoyle grew up in Orting, Washington. He has been active in sports since Read More...


Home Articles Taekwondo Articles TaeKwonDo Black Belt Level of Responsibility
Black Belt Level of Responsibility

Are you testing for your black belt soon?  If so, you need to read this article FIRST.    

Aspiring Tae Kwon Do trainees enter the dojang for the first time and typically view the black belts around them as possessing some anceient golden key allowing them to unlock a door to the mystical wisdom and power of the Eastern traditions. 

While conceptually, this makes for great Saturday night Kung-Fu flicks, I think, in a more practical sense it is better to humbly portray us as the "elder keepers of knowledge."  For better or worse, the black belts in any martial arts school are oftentimes the most influential elements on the mat.  It makes sense to view our role with new students in a more pragmatic manner.  I have seen the arrogance displayed by some seniour students and this ultimately has a very damaging effect on those of lower rank.  What I am writing about here today is BLACK BELT LEVEL RESPONSIBILITY.


Black belt and senior students must set a proper example and reflect the school's standards of etiquette at all levels of interaction.  When we fail, our juniors follow and as such the entire dojong ricks being compromised.  Leadership with humility is far more impressive than exhibitions of athletic skill and, as it turns out, a very important attribute for black belts to master. 


As Lao Tzu puts it:

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, but of a good leader who talks little when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, "We did it ourselves."


No matter how many stipes we have on our belts, we are all students of TKD and must never lose that original sense of learning and growth.  At my own school a particular student likes to compliment and imitate me on my forms practice, and while I appreciate this, my answer to him is always the same, "I am also learning."  This is the only way that we can "grow up" our junior students.  We must guide them gently and on their own time schedule towards mastery.  We must meet them where they are and encourage their growth beyond such by example, not with words or worse--admonishment.  If they are the seeds, we must be the mutrients that support their healthy growth towards the sun so that they may provide nourishment to those that follow.  This is BLACK BELT LEVEL OF RESPONSIBILITY.


More than possessing sheer physical ability, the level of skill that I reference here compels us to act in ways that elevate others both inside and outside of the dojong, but without taking credit for doing such.  The purpose of our training is to make us better human beings and when we lose sight of this we are no different than a person that has never trained in martial arts.  This is how we move others in a positive course.  THIS IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY.

This article is courtesy of: Paul Marsala,


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Family Oriented
The instructors here are wonderful. I attend the family nights with 3 of my 4 kids. The different belt levels are given individual training as well as training with the class as a whole. In the short time we have been training there, my daughter has already earned herself a silver medal during a tournament. She wouldn't have been able to do it without the wonderful instructors here at Black Belt USA. The best part is the affordability! Each family member works as a discount for the next!

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