GEDMAN’S BLACK BELT ACADEMY OF THE WESTFIELD AREA YMCA
Programs are available for adults, teens and children (beginning at age 4), for beginners through 5th degree black belts. Beginner students are required to attend the Intro class before beginning rank-specific training (uniform is not required for the Intro class). No annual commitment or contract is required. All classes are in person at the Bauer Branch Gym allowing adequate distance between students.
Tae Kwon Do is a martial art that allows individuals to focus on physical and personal development. Benefits include:
Fitness: Students develop strength, flexibility, confidence and self-esteem while developing overall physical fitness. As you progress, you will learn to coordinate this speed and power, and develop the concentration to focus all of your body’s strength into a small, hard striking surface like the edge of the hand or the heel of the foot.
Self-Defense: Knowing you can defend yourself, your confidence will grow. Students of all ages can apply the lessons learned to maintaining their personal safety.
Self-Confidence: As you accomplish new goals, your confidence level increases. It instills a sense of discipline and self-confidence that can carry over to all aspects of your life.
Personal Development: Tae Kwon Do instills discipline, honor, self-control, respect, courtesy and perseverance.
Meet the Instructors
Each class is led by a team of certified ATA (American Taekwondo Association) instructors under the leadership of Master Instructor Pamela Gedman.
Understanding Belt Ranks
In Tae Kwon Do, our belts reflect a student’s proven level of competence and the progression of colors reflects an inner journey that never truly ends. Each belt achieved is truly an accomplishment worthy of respect.
The student has no knowledge of Tae Kwon Do and begins with a clean (pure) slate. Purity is often signified by the color white.
The beginner student sees the beauty of the art of Tae Kwon Do but has not yet experienced the power of the technique. Orange is found among the many colors of the sunrise.
The student begins to understand the basics of Tae Kwon Do. The sun appears to be yellow.
Camouflage (Camo) Belt
The student begins to realize his/her place in the world’s largest martial art. The student must now begin to spar in order to promote in rank. Camouflage (greens) is used to hide among the trees in the forest.
The student’s technique is developing power. The components of the basic techniques are beginning to work in unison. As the pine tree develops, it sprouts green pine needles.
The student has crossed over into a higher level of Tae Kwon Do. The techniques, forms and level of sparring becomes more difficult, creating a mountain that must be overcome. Mountains are often depicted as being purple.
Having passed the mid-way point, the student focuses his/her energy upward toward black belt. The sky appears as blue.
At this point the student has mastered the basics and developed deep roots in Tae Kwon Do. Brown is known as an earthy color, such as dirt.
The first day (the period of time from white belt to red belt) of growth is coming to an end. The physical skill has been developed but lacks control; therefore, physical and mental discipline must now be achieved. Variations of red are found among the many colors of the sunset.
The student must begin a new phase of training; that of being a black belt. The red is the sun (in a sunrise) as it breaks through the black of night.
The color black is created when all the colors of the light spectrum have been absorbed into an object. That object has “taken control” of the colors and retained them. If one color was to “escape,” the object would no longer be black but would appear as that color. The student has mastered the nine grades of Tae Kwon Do. He/she has “absorbed” all the knowledge of the color ranks and overcome or “mastered” that level or training. The colors of the spectrum are bound together and are not reflected off an object, resulting in the absence of color which we call black.