On April 19, four Taekwondo students from Lonoke traveled to Morrilton to test their skills in Martial Arts. The students observed a sparring and skills demonstration by black belts before showing their own skills.
Jackson Burch, Eli Dollinger and O’Neal Whitehurst successfully advanced from white belts to yellow belts while Jeff Barnes advanced to a second degree yellow belt. The students were tested on a series of kicks, blocks, punches, and basic forms. The students were presented with their yellow belts in class on April 22.
Speaking of the April 19 event, Sarah Walker stated, "All of our kids did an excellent job demonstrating the skills they’ve worked so hard on. We’re really proud of the courage they demonstrated by performing in front of the crowd."
Student, O’Neal Whitehurst said, "My favorite part of testing for my yellow belt was when I did basic form three, which is my favorite form. I liked showing all the people everything I had learned."
The Lonoke Taekwondo classes, a part of GMHMA (Grand Master Han Martial Arts) of Arkansas, provides training in Youn Wha Ryu style of Martial Arts, which involves a complex self-defense system blending a variety of techniques from Kung Fu, Karate, Taekwondo, Judo, Tai Chi, and others. The class combines aerobic and anaerobic training and encourages development in self-discipline, perseverance, balance, agility, coordination, flexibility, and total-body strength.
The Lonoke students train every Tuesday and Thursday evening at the Lonoke Community Center under lead instructor, Sarah Walker, and assistant instructors, Brandon Murphy and Lance Sorrows.
Speaking of the students in the class, Sorrows stated, "The students are very quick learners. They are polite and disciplined. You cannot wear them out. Trust me. We’ve tried."