(Aurora, CO) – KAT is extremely proud to welcome our newest class of black belts and advanced black belts. As with any group, there are many compelling stories. Some of the highlights of this group included Fernando Rodriguez, who was one of the last students to earn his color belt ranks from Grandmaster Ghassan when he was KAT Head Master in 2004. Fernando took some time off for college and returned to training after graduating. In fact, Fernando’s brother Tony was born and grew up to become a KAT black belt (Fall 2015) and helped Fernando along the way.
The test also featured Spencer and Konnor Mancuso (LaKai) who started training in the Little Tigers’ class in Aurora in 2006 before moving to Littleton to continue their training. Time flies! Several 4th and 5th dan candidates were unable to complete the process due to work travel, marriage, and injuries. Look for them to finish up as part of the fall 2016 black belt class.
The black belt test lasts 12-15 hours over four days and also includes an essay, written test on history, terminology, philosophy, physics, etc. Students must also complete a leadership service project. You can see examples of their work our our students blog.
Students must show proficiency on all curriculum, spar multiple opponents at once, do free grappling, break multiple boards, and complete a grueling physical test. Congrats to everyone who made it!
Full Class List – 2nd Dan – Joseph Von Hulongbayan, Lao Xiong, Rylan Griggs, Mahayla Griggs, David Berg. 1st Dan – Billy Garduno, Sepncer Mancuso, Konnor Mancuso, Austin Murphy, Bella Brown, Rameses Marlonsson, Fernando Rodriguez.