Two young Sun Peaks residents have become the latest students of the Northern Taekwon-do Academy to earn their black belts.
Olivia Dye and Montana Oevermann each reached the achievement in March after years of training in Taekwon-do and focused practising for the intense black belt testing. The girls trained together on their own time at home and during school lunch breaks to master the material, which includes patterns and theory from every previous belt.
Instructor and fourth degree black belt Ryan Oevermann said the testing is especially difficult compared to other belt testing.
“You have to be comprehensive in your belt level’s requirements and all of the previous belt level’s requirements,” he said. “Every kick, every technique.”
Two days of testing to prove their skills in each level culminated in the final test. Montana (Oevermann’s daughter) had to break boards to qualify, as she is 13, while 12-year-old Olivia was not required to break boards.
After completing their patterns and kicks, each had to complete a verbal test in theory, history and meanings in the sport and were tested on their physical fitness and endurance.
“It’s a lot of things that come together…black belt means mastering the basics but it’s also where it really starts for lots of seminars and competitions. It’s a huge accomplishment.”
The success also marks every member of the Oevermann family earning their black belt.
“For me as a teacher but also as a parent, to have your daughter accomplish this level before the teen years really start is amazing.”
He added the skills learned in Taekwon-do training transfer to other areas of life, school and work.
“It’s proficiency in something, a humble confidence…being teachable, responsible and leadership skills. You don’t stumble upon a black belt, that last final step from red belt to black belt, you’ve really got to want it.”
Now each of the girls will work on adding degrees to the belt, which involves learning how to teach different students and working as instructors in the school.
“I’m proud of the dedication they’ve put into it. I’m personally invested because it’s my daughter but naturally as an instructor you’re proud and invested in what your students have gone through.
“And they’re best friends so it’s cool to test together and work together.”