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Martial Arts Family Fitness to Hold Black Belt Exam, Promotion

Eight students, including two youths, will test for their first degree black belt

Martial Arts Family Fitness, a family-owned and operated school dedicated to improving lives through martial arts, announced Tuesday that Grandmaster Dave Wheaton will oversee the semi-annual black belt test and promotion in the art of Dynamic Circle Hapkido.

Testing for their first dan are four adults, two teenagers and two youth students. Additionally, one student will be testing for Master, or fourth dan, 11 students will be testing for their second dan, and another 26 black belts will test for advancement within their current rank.

The black belt exam and promotion will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 2 at the Santa Barbara school’s facility, 122 E Gutierrez St.

“A total of eight students, including two of our youth students, will test for their first black belt in Hapkido,” said Wheaton, founder and owner of Martial Arts Family Fitness. “We will also have a very impressive group of black belts testing for advancement within their current ranks, as well 12 black belts testing for their next dan, or degree, and one testing for her fourth dan, making her a Master.”

“Black belt tests as a very important and emotional event for our students,” added Melodee Meyer, co-owner of Martial Arts Family Fitness. “They train through a rigorous curriculum, and prepare for this day physically and mentally. For most of our black belts this day is the beginning of a life-long journey in the martial arts.”

In order to test for their black belt, students must exhibit proficiency in various areas of study, including basics (hand strikes and kicks), self defense techniques, takes downs and throw forms, and sparring, including individual and multiple attacker scenarios.

“Our students, adult and youth alike, train very hard for this very special day,” Wheaton said. “We are different from many other schools as there is no difference in the black belt earned by an adult or youth student. As a black belt each student is encouraged to continue practicing and making the art their own. It is always a thrill to watch our students grow, and this is just one of the many days we celebrate their achievements.”

Students testing for their first degree black belt are:

Amanda Arcuri
Sammy Arshadi
Danny Erlach
Adrian Lindsey
Elena Navarro
Jose Navarro
Tim Reed
Van Spaulding

— Alex Rodriguez represents Martial Arts Family Fitness.

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