January 2015 Belt Ceremony at Robinson’s Taekwondo Arden Arcade

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Getting to the next belt means more intense training, learning better coordination, balance, building more stamina, endurance, flexibility, power, speed…learning new forms, advanced kicks and blocks…facing bigger challenges!!  

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Children have this unmatched energy, pure and contagious…such innocent dedication in a 4 yr old makes me happy, if I ever wanted to be young again I would be a happy 4 yr old and a student at this school!! :)

 Disclaimer: Pictures in this article are taken at Robinson’s Taekwondo Arden Arcade Center, posted with the intention of sharing and promoting Taekwondo, as well as acknowledging Martial Arts as an essential part of a child’s growth and development. This is my personal blog…these are my opinions, thoughts and ideas…I am not paid to write. I request any parent that wishes not to have their child’s picture posted here, please email at joyeeta100@yahoo.com to have them removed. Thanks.


Belt Test January 2015 at Robinson’s Taekwondo Arden Arcade

Disclaimer: Pictures in this article are of students learning Taekwondo at Robinson’s Taekwondo Arden Arcade Center and have been posted with the intention of sharing and promoting Taekwondo and acknowledging Martial Arts as an essential part of a child’s growth and development. This is my personal blog…these are my opinions, thoughts and ideas…I am not paid to write. I request any parent that wishes not to have their child’s picture posted here, please email at joyeeta100@yahoo.com to have them removed. 


We commit. We learn. We grow. We train hard (well, I do not train as hard as I should, I do what I can, and try to be better than last time!!). We get stronger. We help each other. We work together. We go past our limitations. We exceed our expectations. Every single day!

And then every two months we get to test our skills :)


Showing respect to the Flags…


Mr. Mota giving instructions before testing ..

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Warmup begins..students doing their best as this is a part of the test! 


Testing begins..

The cutest father-daughter pair at our dojang – Melanie and Mr. Kim (don’t go by the white belts around their waist, both of them have amazing technique and are fierce fighters!)



 My new friend Ashlee – she’s fit n beautiful n amazingly flexible n has equally great technique! And definitely don’t look at her white belt…she’s fierce!!! That’s one talented, dedicated, inspiring family. 

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Testing with Ashlee is Ali, he’s bright, respectful and a fast learner…will appreciate and congratulate everyone after every class and/or test.

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These are all great kids- determined, talented and most of them on their way to earning a Black Belt. I have much respect for parents who toil all day and still make sure their kids are in class on time, learning a great skill!!!


Our instructors Mr Mota, Mr. Stoffel and Mr. Burnham after they put Gabe and Alex together!!

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Just a slight size difference guys…Gabe (on the right) is the tallest and the nicest kid (lol Gabe is nice, he won’t be mad I called him a kid) and Alex (on the left) has the loudest kihap, brings great energy to the floor!!


Board Breaking Fun begins….

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Holding the board and assisting the kids is 3rd Degree Black Belt Chris Brown, another talented kid!!

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.. and we shall test again in March!!! 

Next time I will have someone take pictures of the higher belts testing.

Gems of life

…let your spirit be your guide

…acknowledge and follow your heart every step of the way

…believe in your dreams, they form the blueprint of your future.

…trust in your instincts, they will never fail you.

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Nothing unusual yet life-altering

Gary Lennon – a name I came across a couple years ago. He is a writer, producer, director who didn’t get a start to life as most do. Having lost his parents at the age of 11, he spent his growing years under the shadow of his criminal brothers, but neither the circumstances nor the prospects of a grim and dark future abate his love for writing. I keep stumbling into  this essay written by him from time to time, especially at times when I most need to feel inspired, motivated…carry on, do my best. And most of all, not quit.

January 30, 2008

Why We Write – Number 33: Gary Lennon

Filed under: Uncategorized — Charlie Craig @ 7:38 am

Number 33

Today’s piece is written by Gary Lennon, a writer on “The Shield.”

Both of my parents were dead before I was 11 years old.  That is why I write.  At least that was where the desire was born.  I had all of these feelings inside and I didn’t know what to do with them until I picked up a pen and put them down on paper.  My world was turned upside down at an early age and I needed to make sense of the chaos known as my life.  My problem was I picked up the bottle before I picked up the pen, so I had a late start.  But better late than never.

I grew up in Manhattan’s HELL’S KITCHEN before it was deemed CLINTON and before it was known as the dance belt capitol of the world…which it now is.  At the age of 11, I had no parents, two older criminal brothers and a grim prospect of a future, but I did have an Aunt named MOO, short for MURIEL, who was an usherette at the Broadway houses.  Luckily for me, one day my aunt MOO took me to work with her to stuff the understudy announcements into the play bills while she booked numbers for the other usherettes.  Nice.  The play MOO took me to was EQUUS and the lights went down and then came up and I was hooked.  I saw naked people on stage and I thought, I LIKE theater.  I can do this.  I found home.  I will surrender.  YES!  In short I found a hobby, a therapy, that became a vocation.  A career.  I found a place to make sense of my chaos.

At first I saw many plays, but the plays I saw didn’t reflect my life experience.  The plays I saw were about rich people with country homes.  The plays were about people who had jobs and careers and shit like that.  I couldn’t identify.  I lived in a railroad flat with the bathroom in the hallway. I was waiting for something to speak to me.  Then BAM!  Magic.  I saw a Steppenwolf production of a play called BALM IN GILEAD, and the play was filled with pimps and whores and drug addicts and I thought ahhh….my family, these people I know.  These people I can relate to.  These people I can write about.  A BELL went off.  A green light.  A sense of permission washed over me and allowed me to tell my story, no matter how dark it was…and I picked up a pen and began to find the GOLD in my mud.  My life.  I began to write what I knew and I began to make money.

I first wrote a play called BLACKOUT, which became the film DRUNKS and I started working and very gratefully I haven’t stopped.  I’ve sold a bunch of features and I recently have been working on TV.  I feel blessed.  I just got to write on a show that I was a huge fan of.  I just did the last year of THE SHIELD and found that I liked collaborating.  I liked the writer’s room.  Sometimes I have to stop and take a breath because I know I am living my dream.  I can’t believe I get to work with the talented people that I do and this all happened to a kid from Hell’s Kitchen who didn’t graduate high school.  Who didn’t think he had a future and was ashamed of is past.  I didn’t realize that by owning my past, I’d find my voice and that would allow me to brighten my future.

I truly feel privileged to go to work everyday and dig into my tool box and use my tools that were given to me.  My DNA, my history, my life and put that down on paper and in doing so transcend my circumstances and make my journey authentic.  I write because I have to.  I write because I love it.  I write because there are stories to be told…and I love telling stories.  I’m Irish.

WHY WE WRITE is a series of essays by prominent – and not so prominent – TV and Film writers.  Conceived by Charlie Craig and Thania St. John, the campaign hopes to inspire and inform all writers.  If you’d like to comment, or tell us why you write, visit the Why We Write WordPress site or contact us at whywewrite@gmail.com.

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The list of things I am grateful for is endless…countless…magical. Abundance is everywhere. I believe in it. I see it. I share it. And I wish I could give out thanks with every breath I take.


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