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2013 Taekwondo Winter Promotion Exam

2013 Taekwondo Winter Promotion Exam

Taking a next step
Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
(NOTE: This article is reprinted with the kind permission of the MS Area Newspapers,

Taekwondo students show their skills during promotion exam

Sixteen children, ages 5 to 15, challenged themselves to advance to the next belt rank during the Mount Shasta Martial Arts Program’s annual Winter Taekwondo Promotion Exam on March 6.

Warming Up Warming Up Warming Up Warming Up
The afternoon shadows create an interesting lighting effect as the children get ready for their exam. Organized by the older and higher rank children, this simple activity demonstrates how eager they are to be at their best.

“This is the traditional way to assess the progress of each participant,” said MSMAP head instructor Chuck Buhs. “And, this was one of our most comprehensive exams because every training level of our program was represented: beginning, intermediate, and advanced.”


 Developing Self-Respect & Self-Confidence

One of the youngest participants in the exam was Jaycee, 5, who earned her yellow belt.

“Jaycee was impressive especially with her focus and enthusiasm for her forms,” said Buhs.

Warming Up   Intermediate Group is Ready!   Intermediate Group in Action
More Warming Up   The Intermediate Group is Ready!   The Intermediate Group in Action

“Since her last exam in August, she’s made great progress in attitude and agility,” said her grandmother, Janice Johnson. “When Jaycee first started Tiny Tigers [a weekday afternoon session for children] in June ’12, she was pretty shy and not very assertive. Tiny Tigers has given her the confidence to know it is OK to say what is on your mind, and if something does not feel right, it is OK to say, ‘No.’”

“The MSMAP rank system is based upon a progressive, self-sustaining curriculum,” said Buhs. “People not only learn the techniques, but they also learn how to help others in both word and deed.”

Johnson agrees that the more experienced MSMAP participants help contribute to Jaycee’s growth.

“The older children and teens who come and help out are wonderful role models for Jaycee,” said Johnson. “She loves seeing them come to the Tiny Tigers class. They are a great group of sweet, kind kids, and it gives me confidence to know that Jaycee has some great examples to aspire to be like.”


 Pre-Black Belt Test

One of those older children, Vitaliy Tveritin, 12, was very busy during his test for 1st gup, the final rank before black belt. His exam included double-kicks, flying kicks, spinning kicks, split-kicks, board breaks, all the forms, and even sparring each person.

“The hardest part was sparring everyone,” said Vitaliy. “They were in a circle around me, and I didn’t know which direction they would come from.”

Exam Begins: Advanced Group Stances & Techniques Paddle Kicks Kicking Skills
Advanced Group’s Exam Begins Stances & Techniques Paddle Kicks Kicking Skills

Vitaliy successfully passed his test for black belt candidate and will next test for junior black belt this summer at UC Berkeley.

“This rare test is a reflection of Vitaliy’s perseverance, positive attitude, and the support of his friends and family,” said Buhs. “Vitaliy’s involvement goes beyond training — he helps the Tiny Tigers, volunteers at our fundraisers, and leads many of our demonstrations.”

Vitaliy says the harder the challenge, the greater the fun.

“It’s always fun. I think to myself, ‘I can do this.’ I don’t fixate on the negative things; I focus on the positive. That motivates me,” he said.


 Benefits of Martial Arts Training

MSMAP participants and families recognize benefits through their growing self-discipline and self-esteem.

“Training helps me physically, with my friends, and in school,” said Vitaliy. “This is a friendly and fun studio. In school, my teachers and I have a lot of mutual respect. This is an important part of why I do well in school.”

Janice Johnson said, “As Jaycee’s grandparents raising her in a non-traditional family, it is of the utmost importance to me that she feels valued as an individual. This class is giving her that in spades.”

Closing Words Brother v. Sister Closing Words
Closing Words Brother v. Sister Sparring More Closing Words (yawn)

Johnson adds that her granddaughter has loved the program “from the first day. She finds it fun but knows when it is time to be serious. She loves the other children in the class and has made some new friends. These kids have a good time, they are not hurting each other, and at the end of the class they are still good friends. I think Taekwondo teaches them to be self confident, assertive in a positive way, to know that they are the keeper of themselves, and it is OK to say and do what is the right thing for them. They do not have to sit back and let someone else disrespect them, and they learn in a non-aggressive way how to make that point clear.”

Vitaliy said the main points of the program for him are “discipline, honor, respect, safety, and fun. When teaching others, I try to make it as fun as possible. I don’t want them to be stressed out or feel bad. I want to encourage them.”


 More Information

MSMAP, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located at 612-A S. Mt. Shasta Blvd., offers a variety of dynamic, invigorating, and modern martial arts training for children, teens, and adults six days each week. More information can be found on their website at, email ( ), phone ( 530.859.2024 ), and on Facebook (MSMAP on Facebook).

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