Port Elgin area boys earn junior black belts in Tae Kwon Do

Joan
Joan LeBlanc
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After four years of hard work, practice and concentration, three boys from the Port Elgin area have earned their junior black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

MacKenzie Campbell, 11, and Tomas Campbell and Sam Alward, both 10, first began studying Tae Kwon Do under the guidance of Ola LeBlanc in 2006.

After four years of hard work, practice and concentration, three boys from the Port Elgin area have earned their junior black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

MacKenzie Campbell, 11, and Tomas Campbell and Sam Alward, both 10, first began studying Tae Kwon Do under the guidance of Ola LeBlanc in 2006.

The fifth-degree black belt instructor, who has operated LeBlanc Tae Kwon Do in Cap Pelé, N.B. for 25 years, first began offering instruction classes for youths and adults in Port Elgin in 1993.

Since that time, he has seen many students attain high levels of proficiency in the sport and gone on to successful careers.

"Tae Kwon Do has been around for many years, but has its roots in Seoul, Korea. The physical aspects can be used for self-defence but the sport is much more than that," LeBlanc said last week.

In fact, it teaches both children and adults courage, integrity, respect, confidence, equality and the ability to focus on a task or situation when needed.

"Of course, through practicing they also become very agile and physically fit. That these three boys have already successfully attained many levels of Tae Kwon Do to reach the level of junior black belt is a great achievement. They have all worked hard to reach this level," he said.

He added that only about 10,000 youths outside of Korea and around the world have attained the junior black belt level.

Officiating at the recent competition was Master Allie Vaughan, a seventh-degree black belt and president of Tae Kwon Do New Brunswick, and LeBlanc's own instructor.

"Yes, I'm still learning. There is always more to learn," he admitted.

During last week's competition, the three boys were required to successfully complete a number of stances and skills.

These moves and skills can vary somewhat from club to club, but the basic training theories remain the same, he said.

"There are sublte changes, for sure, but all clubs in the province are overseen by our governing body so what we're teaching is very much the same," LeBlanc said.

The three boys are proud of their accomplishments and all agreed they have learned much from practicing Tae Kwon Do.

"It's not for just going out on the street and starting fighting with someone. It's for self-defence; if someone is fighting against you, you can defend yourself. But it's also for teaching respect and to learn how to focus and concentrate on what you're doing," MacKenzie Campbell said.

He explained that to reach the high level of concentration and discipline needed to be successful practicing Tae Kwon Do, each person must put aside all outside thoughts and focus as if you're the only person in that place.

"If you're in a fight and you're not focused and you're not watching the other fighter, he can kick you and win the match," he said.

All three said they would keep practicing and learning Tae Kwon Do with Master LeBlanc.

"We can go for our black belt when we're 16; not just the junior but the full black belt. That would be great," MacKenzie admitted.

Geographic location: Port Elgin, Korea, Seoul Kwon Do New Brunswick

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  • Master Ola LeBlanc
    March 01, 2014 - 21:37

    There is a mistake in their quote .It should say my instructors told me when I started training that one student in1, 000 outside Of Korea would reach the black belt level. Master LeBlanc