Warwick resident and owner of United Martial Arts Centers Edmund Ciarfella was honored with the opportunity to test for 8th Degree Black Belt in South Korea the home of Taekwondo.
To put this accomplishment in perspective, out of one hundred people that begin their martial arts training on average only one attains the rank of 1st degree Black Belt. There are only 16 Certified Taekwondo 8th Dan Black Belts currently in the United States.
Ciarfella was recommended by his lifelong instructor Grand Master Byung Min Kim. This was the 2019 BM Kim Health and Happiness Tour. Thirty-seven students accompanied Ciarfella on the trip.
The focus of the trip was to help martial arts students understand how meditation and the art of tea are imperative in making their training more fulfilling. Students not only practiced Taekwondo daily but also made green tea and meditated.
“One of the things that make Grand Master Byung Min Kim unique is his continued evolution and self-improvement," Ciarfella said in the press release detailing his accomplishment. "When Kim came to the United States in 1974 his goal originally was to make everyone a Black Belt. Now his goal is to help everyone become happier and healthier through healthy diet, exercise, proper rest, mediation, drinking green tea and doing good deeds using Taekwondo as the vehicle."
Ciarfella added: "I am deeply grateful to have Grand Master Kim as my instructor, mentor and Taekwondo father."
Grand Master Ciarfella has been training in the martial arts since 1973 and he and his family, Master Teresa Ciarfella 6th Dan, Master Danielle Ciarfella 5th Dan, Master Ed Ciarfella 5th Dan and Master Jason Bender 5th Dan currently run three United Martial Arts Centers in Orange County with locations in Warwick, Monroe and Middletown.
“Testing for 8th dan was a personal goal I established for myself eleven years ago after I tested for 7th dan," Ciarfella said. "It was not my only reason. I want to continue to be a positive role model and example for my students but also for individuals who feel that age is an obstacle for continued growth. I want to always challenge myself. This testing was not easy. I practiced everyday for six months, physically training and mentally visualizing my testing. I had to overcome the physical pain of a hip re-surfacing in my right leg and osteo-arthritis in my left leg.
"I discovered that I have a lot more left in my tank and will continue to practice and set the new goal of 9th Dan Black Belt," the grand master added. "Finally, I want to thank my family, friends and students for their support especially Grand Master Byung Min Kim for his guidance.
For more information, contact:United Martial Arts Centers by calling 845-987-1853, via email at Sabumnim50@gmail.com or online at www.umacenters.com.