Our Karate Kid

This weekend our son Mitchell was among two students who were awarded their second-degree black belts at Gold Country Kuk Sool Won, where those from grade school to adults learn the traditional Korean martial art. Others who were present received their first degree black belt, or advanced in rank (there are set requirements from white belt through black belt).

Chief instructor and Gold Country Kuk Sool Won owner Tony Reyna — who is currently training for his 7th degree black belt — operates a first-class program at his studio in the Seven Hills business district in Nevada City. It is a shining example of a successful small business in the foothills. The schools are located throughout the world.

Our son began as a “Turtle Tot” in kindergarten. (“We incorporate animal stretches, and exciting exercises on the mat and with pads. Children will be introduced to the three most important aspects of Kuk Sool Won: Etiquette, Patience, and Practice. Practicing these principles will enhance their focus and self-discipline.”)

It has been a wonderful experience, from kindergarten through high school. Along the way, our son has made new friends; visited with Hyuk Suh, the founder and grandmaster of the world Kuk Sool Won Association; attended a “destination” training session on the beach in Fort Bragg; and been a regular counselor at the summer day camp.

We celebrated with an ice cream cake:

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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