A handful of students have trained for the last five to seven years to reach a level of expertise and skill to test for black belt at the Tehachapi Martial Arts Center. The honor to test for the rank of black belt is part of the process of proving their skill and devotion to Tae Kwon Do.
Under the direction and guidance of Senior Master Ivan Jadric and Junior Master Cris Jadric, TMAC students Alicia Camarena, Connor Gilliand, Tyler Gilliand, Tristen Bock and Vanessa Lynn Chao underwent strenuous testing and are awaiting their results.
"The black belt test was not easy," Alicia Camarena, a seven-year student, said. "My favorite part (of the test) was breaking a brick with my elbow."
"I am deeply grateful to Senior Master Ivan Jadric, Junior Master Cris Jadric, the whole Jadric family, the school of TMAC, and also the solid people who tested me," Tyler Gilliand said of the testing process. "I enjoyed breaking boards and bricks the most, probably because it was one of the only outlets from the stress of the moment."
"The most gratifying aspects of the test were the honor of being invited by Senior Master Ivan Jadric to test and the achievement of being able to perform at a level I once thought far off and impossible," said Tyler's brother, Conner Gilliand.
"Taking the black belt test was both nerve wracking and exciting," Tristen Bock, said. "I feel that I have indeed improved myself."
Vanessa Lynn Chao said the test and promotion to black belt gave her another reason to be proud.
"Even though I do harp, piano, dance, and (take) Chinese lessons, I accomplished a lot at the TMAC. I thank Master Jadric and his family for giving me this opportunity to develop my skills of Tae Kwon Do," she said.
The TMAC has been teaching in Tehachapi for 23 years. For more information contact TMAC at 823-0621.