We pride ourselves in helping each student achieve their goals and developing their mental and physical strength. This is what attaining a Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do Black Belt requires.

For some of our candidates this journey to Black Belt began in our Knee High Ninja Program, when they were only four years old!

This month, these candidates passed our Arlington Qualifier and the Panel Exam in front of the Jhoon Rhee Masters from Arlington and Falls Church. Our candidates persevered and we would like to present and congratulate our newest Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do Black Belts!

“During my first class, I remember a couple of things – I remember the powerful voices the kids around me had and the feeling of the mat on my feet. I remember the adrenaline, but also the nerves that flowed throughout my body. At the end of the class, I remember standing in front of the room staring at some of the people who I am still with 6 years later, and saying each word of the creed loudly. At 9 years of age, this was the first thing Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do had taught me, confidence…..Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do has taught me to reach outside my comfort zone and discover that utilizing confidence and perseverance is what will be the most rewarding in the end even with nerves. Choosing to continue through challenges, physical or mental, might be difficult, but also the most gaining experience wise. Tae Kwon Do has given me the tools I not only need for the studio but also for life.”

“Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do is more than learning self defense, it is learning important life skills that will stay with you for the rest of your life. I have learned/gained plenty of things during my time at Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do, from balance, endurance, the ability to punch and kick, leadership, and one of the most important, perseverance. An underlying skill to many people, perseverance is something that I have grown to improve a lot in my years at Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do, having stuck with this form of martial arts for well over a decade.”

“A year ago, Master Rome gave me an opportunity and introduced me to the Adaptive (ATKD) program. I can say with confidence that this experience helped take my teaching to the next level. Not only would I teach my own personal students, but I would also have to teach myself, whether it be new ways to explain a move, or to find creative ways help the adaptive students to be productive. Teaching at Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do has drastically improved my self-confidence, problem solving skills, and all round making me better as a person, which benefits me and everyone around me.”

“When I first started my Tae Kwon Do journey I was a 6 year old with no patience and a desire to go really fast and onto the next subject. In a way, this is what drove me to start Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do. I only saw cool moves and speedy techniques, but in reality, it was much harder than I anticipated as I started on the long road to black belt. I can still remember my first class as I spun around with no focus at all. After I earned white belt, I realized this would not be an easy journey…..Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do helped me with my ADHD and my physical fitness. Tae kwon do has also given me the courage to try new things such as Model United Nations, in which I need to speak in front of large audiences of people. Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do has helped me keep a positive attitude throughout whatever I am doing. Whether I am at school, with my friends, or with my family I try to always stay positive and upbeat.”

“When I look back, I see how much Jhoon Tae Kwon Do has changed my life, and I can’t imagine it without Jhoon Tae Kwon Do. It gave me the confidence to join a soccer team, and run for student council. Now I can do things that I thought I would never be able to do when I started, like doing fifty push-ups in under a minute, and being able to do the splits. While Jhoon Tae Kwon Do has given me the confidence and skill to get this far, I could never have done it without the people who helped me along the way. I would like to thank those people, starting with my parents and sister for encouraging me, my friends for being there for me, and my teachers at Jhoon Tae Kwon Do for helping me learn. I am a straight A student”

“I remember glimpses of my first class at Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do. I was a kindergartner who didn’t understand why my parents wanted me to do this. It didn’t seem that important. Of course, like most five-year-olds, I had a misguided impression. Every instructor has imparted lessons that have helped me. Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do has shaped my personality, physical capabilities, and how I interact with the world…….Even though one would think a martial art only encompasses the physical, it also has shaped my mental capabilities. One of the biggest is respect. As a kid, I wasn’t respectful, constantly goofing off and not taking anything seriously. This would be a problem for me in a lot of areas of my life as a kid. Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do taught me the importance of respect. Unlike what I thought as a kid, saying “Yes, sir” and “Yes, ma’am” wasn’t just something you said. Those words conveyed meaning. The meaning of respect. Respect was a crucial part of how we communicated with people. Once I learned that, I started to treat other authority figures in my life with that same type of respect and was surprised when they reciprocated that respect back to me.”

“I began Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do when I was ten years old, in fifth grade. Before I had started, I didn’t play many sports. I was lazy, weak and very inflexible. I really enjoyed Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do for the first couple years I was doing it. I quickly progressed through the ranks, and improved physically….What Jhoon Rhee has done for me is absolutely invaluable. No sport I’ve played has turned me into a confident leader like Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do has. My struggle through the ranks has given me great willpower and patience. Teaching has made me confident in my ability to be a leader. Taking classes has improved my strength, flexibility, and discipline. Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do has done so much for me, and I will always be grateful.”

“10 years ago, walking down the hall to my ballet class, I gazed upon dozens of kids laughing as they kicked x-rays and played super mega dodgeball. Not long after, I dropped ballet and joined them….My ability to speak fluidly with confidence and persuasion translates over to the dozens of oral presentations I must do as an IB Diploma Student. I can give lectures to the Newspaper Club, which I founded and run. I find myself being able to hold more authority and command as the Head of Sound at my school’s theater department. Tae kwon do has even helped me with my 15-minute French oral presentations. The ability to not let doubt creep into you is vital and necessary, especially in an age filled with media and never-ending criticism. Tae kwon do has helped me in numerous ways, but most importantly it has helped me with my confidence as a mentor, sister, and teacher.”

“I’ve seen how we as role models who teach important life skills affect kids and change their behavior in positive ways. Whether it’s becoming more respectful and disciplined or just overall more confident, Jhoon Tae Kwon Do is a lot more than just teaching how to kick and punch… The 2nd and most important way teaching Jhoon Tae Kwon Do has helped me is being an all around better human. How I can tell the ninjas the importance of discipline and respect if I haven’t reaped the benefits of those ideals myself. Teaching all the values Jhoon Tae Kwon Do has taught me has made me the person I am today.”

We want to send an extra special congratulations to Master Shackelford. Master Shackelford has always said that Tae Kwon Do has given him the three best things in his life: Tae Kwon Do, his wife, and his livelihood. 18 years ago, Master Shackelford left the corporate world to open Jhoon Rhee Arlington. The thousands of students that have walked through our doors are grateful for having such an amazing leader, mentor, and role model.

With the rank of 7th degree, he holds the highest official rank in Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do. Well deserved for a person that has selflessly dedicated his life to Jhoon Rhee Arlington, the staff, and students.