Left to right: Matthew Lindner, Andrew Biehl, Thomas Jackson
Three of our Crusader Martial Artists earned their black belts this past school year. Graduate Andrew Biehl '22 describes what it takes to earn this prestigious achievement:
"I have a first-degree black belt, which I achieved after years of hard work and moving up through the belt system. After going through white, yellow, orange, green, purple (two degrees) and brown (three degrees), I finally was eligible to test for black belt at the beginning of my junior year. The black belt test is an extremely intense version of all other belt tests, with an hour and a half of performance tests, memorization, drills, and fighting with other black belts. Your performance is consistently analyzed and, after a week or so, you receive your belt (if deemed eligible). The black belt symbolizes mastery of a certain component of Kenjutsu (the Japanese sword-fighting art we practice) to the point where you are able to teach adequately to lower belts. The first degree represents this mastery over Kenjutsu with one sword, and higher degrees pertain to other levels of mastery and different techniques (for example, second-degree black belt indicates mastery of two swords, third-degree mastery of bo staff, etc.)."
Congratulations to our Crusaders for this incredible achievement!