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2013 Black Belt Grading

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HOURS of practice and hundreds of memorised movements later two Port taekwondo students were finally able to fasten their very own black belts.

Salamander Bay's Elizabeth Dederer and Peter Hallett of Corlette achieved black belt status after years undertaking the art.

"It's not something I ever thought I'd do, especially for someone of my vintage," Dederer said.

The 51 year old practised taekwondo for six years at Salamander Bay's Him Do Taekwondo Academy before setting her sights on a black belt 18 months ago.

Dederer trained four to six hours a week in self defence, sparring and patterns, where she committed six years and more than 500 movements to memory in order to qualify for the belt.

"I certainly thought about giving up a couple times," she said.

However Dederer said she pushed on for the achievement.

Him Do Taekwondo Academy instructor and taekwondo master Ronald Bergan said for every 50 students to walk through his doors, only one would achieve their black belt.

"It takes years and years of hard work," he said.

For most students reaching a black belt would take three and a half years of training twice a week at least, however Dederer reached her goal in less than two years.

Fellow black belt Hallett said gaining the belt was "a relief" after a lengthy break from taekwondo.

"It's been well over 25 years getting to that point," he said.

With the triumph now under his belt Hallett plans to keep practising and learn all there is to know about the sport.

The pair's black belt qualifications are internationally recognised.



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