Tae Kwon Do, popular class among Eastern students

Tae Kwon Do is a self-defense art well over two thousand years old. Originating in Korea, Tae Kwon Doe is based on the premise that every person has the ability to defend himself from a sudden attack. Here at Eastern, Tae Kwon Do is available as a class for those willing to learn.

The class, called Fitness through Tae Kwon Do, is taught by Master Instructor Harry M. Plictha, who also teaches Self-Defense, Fitness through Tai Chi, Hiking and soon Fencing.

Many students who enrolled in the class had no previous experience with martial arts.

Sophomore Daniel Aulisio thought the class would be interesting.

“It wasn’t a class that I expected to find on a Christian campus.”

Aulisio, who is now a seventh grade yellow belt, finds the challenge, competitiveness and sense of accomplishment thrilling.

“The best part about it is staying fit and improving. The worst part is getting hit,” he said.

Advancement within Tae Kwon Do, like most martial arts, is marked by different colored belts. Belt rankings in order are white, yellow, green, blue, red and black, with different grades in each belt.

Once a student becomes a black belt, the rankings within the belt are measured by degree. Second and third degree black belts are instructors. Fourth and fifth degree black belts obtain the rank of Master and with the sixth, seventh and eighth degree belts the title of Master Instructor is earned. Grandmasters are ranked as ninth degree black belts.

Sophomore Arek Torosian has enjoyed taking the Tae Kwon Do class and has advanced to seventh grade yellow belt. Although pleased with his success, he had hoped to advance at a quicker pace, and was encouraged by Master Instructor Plichta that perhaps one such avenue toward advancement would be to create a club where he and others could practice more often.

While not officially running now, Torosian hopes to have a Tae Kwon Do club set up sometime this semester. He also hopes to incorporate other martial art disciplines as well. He hopes to add Tai Chi for balance, yoga for flexibility, gymnastics for technique, weightlifting for strength training and hiking for endurance.

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