Far Rockaway Martial Artists Become Black Belts
Amethyst School of Martial Arts held their eighth Black Belt Grading Examination at their Beach 20 Street dojo this past weekend. Five young candidates — Danny Balcarcel, age 10; Darius Jones, age 9; Quayson Wynn, age 10; Gerald Stanley Jr., age 8; and Mawuli Kofie, age 9 — entered the ASMA dojo on the afternoon of Friday, June 5 as Brown Belts in the art of Modern Jiu Jitsu. They hoped to return home the next day having earned their Observation Black Belt - a monumental achievement not only in their Martial Arts education, but in their journey to self mastery as well as through life. Jason Byrd, age 13, and Donald Gaither, age 10, obtained their Observation Black Belt in June 2008 and returned this year to reconfirm.