2009-06-12 / Milestones

Far Rockaway Martial Artists Become Black Belts

All seven ASMA candidates show off their new Black Belt Certificates. Top left to right: Sensei Berhane Sellassie Mashama; Mawuli Kofie, age 9, Black Belt white stripe; Jason Byrd, age 13, 1st Degree Black Belt; Darius Jones, age 10, Black Belt purple stripe; Chief Instructor Soke Runako Mashama. Bottom left to right: Quayson Winn, age 10, Black Belt brown stripe; Donald Gaither, age 10, 1st Degree Black Belt; Danny Balcarcel, age 10, Black Belt blue stripe; and Gerald Stanley Jr., age 8, Black Belt white stripe. All seven ASMA candidates show off their new Black Belt Certificates. Top left to right: Sensei Berhane Sellassie Mashama; Mawuli Kofie, age 9, Black Belt white stripe; Jason Byrd, age 13, 1st Degree Black Belt; Darius Jones, age 10, Black Belt purple stripe; Chief Instructor Soke Runako Mashama. Bottom left to right: Quayson Winn, age 10, Black Belt brown stripe; Donald Gaither, age 10, 1st Degree Black Belt; Danny Balcarcel, age 10, Black Belt blue stripe; and Gerald Stanley Jr., age 8, Black Belt white stripe. 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.

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