April 2016 Black Belt Test
On Saturday, April 9th, 30 Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy students from the Bay Area gathered for our 2016 Spring Black Belt Test. Sixteen earned their very first Black Belts; seven returned to get 1st Degrees, four their 2nd Degrees, one a 3rd Degree, and two attained 4th Degrees. Throughout the day-long test, our headquarters school in San Francisco resounded with the ‘aiyahs’ of our candidates. The Grandmaster Wong, Master Chow and the instructors led them through weapon sets, hand forms, rapid Choy Lay Fut combinations, self-defense, and they ended with challenging endurance exercises and board-breaking.
More than half of Concord’s candidates are instructor--Sihings Kevin Wong and Robbie Chyr, and Sijeh Parvaneh Riggs,--demonstrating that in Kung Fu learning never stops.
Many of the people testing started young. Sihing Clinton Dickson of San Mateo started as a tiger and is now a 4th Degree! In San Francisco, the majority of the people who tested also started out on the Tiger Team. In an age where so many kids drift from one thing to another or stay home to play video games, it’s inspiring to see that so many of our students have developed discipline, health and self-defense.
San Mateo’s batch had a number of family connections. Ismael and Effren are first cousins and were very excited to have reached their black belts together; Brian So has caught up to his dad at 3rd Degree; and Claudia Warner joins a husband, son, and daughter who are all black belts; Sihing Clinton’s mom is working towards her black belt; and Arielle Spivack, another Tiger Team alum, is chasing after her 3rd Degree dad. In Concord, Sihing Kevin’s dad is now moving up the ranks.
Though board-breaking is always exciting, Grandmaster Wong challenged Sihing Clinton to jump eight people to break boards—and of course he succeeded!
Afterwards, family & friends gathered for the evening’s Traditional Tea Ceremony with Grandmaster Tat Mau Wong. Candidates served tea to Grandmaster Wong, and received their belts and some words of wisdom.
The accomplishment of receiving a Black Belt is a memory that lasts a lifetime. Join us in Congratulations to all of our April 2016 Black Belts! (see list below)
Clinton Dickson III
Austin Duy Nguyen
Robert Y. Chyr, Jr.
Ryan Wei Kiet Ng
David James Antoine
Bridget C. Dirstine
Jimmy S. Dirstine
Effren V. Garcia
Ismael Garcia, Jr
Matthew Lawrence Schork