On Sunday, Nov. 14, the Golden Lion Academy held a once-in-a-lifetime event, with eight of their 11 black belt instructors testing for the next degree of black belt.
This is the first time in Golden Lion history that such a large group of black belts has tested together.
The camaraderie of the martial arts group is strong.
"It is always fun to go to promotion with a fellow martial artist, but to promote with many other martial artists who you work out with regularly made this promotion quite a memorable experience for all," Master Jason Estes said.
Those that tested to obtain their next level include:
• Master John Paoli (founder of the Golden Lion Academy, with more than 30 years of experience) advanced to sixth dan, or degree.
• Jason Estes (Streamwood GLA) promoted to fifth dan and, thus, became the second master within the Golden Lion Academy. He demonstrated a staff routine with lights.
• Matt Raimondi (Bartlett GLA) and Jeff Rose (Hanover Park GLA) now hold the rank of fourth degree. Raimondi demonstrated close self-defense techniques that included Hapki-do, while Rose demonstrated boxing and kickboxing techniques.
• Rich David (Hanover Park GLA) and Joe Anderson (Bartlett GLA) earned their third dan black belts. Both men complimented each other with ground fighting techniques.
• Rich Conforti (Middleton, CT, GLA) traveled from Connecticut to test with Dan Schmitz (Bartlett GLA) for their second dan black belts. They demonstrated the practicality of the Golden Lion Academy form.
The Golden Lion Academy teaches exclusively through park district systems, including the Bartlett Park District. Bartlett Park District's Golden Lion Martial Arts is open to ages 7 and older, with classes at the Bartlett Community Center, 700 S. Bartlett Road in Bartlett. For details about classes, call (630) 540-4800 or visit www.bartlettparks.org.
The focus of the Golden Lion Academy combines the disciplines of Tae Kwon Do, Hapki-do, Judo, Kick Boxing, Weaponry and Kung-fu.
Through the combination of these martial arts, a practical knowledge of self-defense techniques, weapons, free fighting, traditional forms and discipline is obtained.
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