VANDALIA — The old Chinese proverb “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” certainly describes the journey that the six members of the Bond family have experienced over the past five years.
Their first step began in June of 2010 when Kevin Bond and his shy 12 year old daughter Anna became members of the traditional Korean Martial Arts called Kuk Sool Won taught by Cindy Redolfi at Living Word Church. Dad was trying to encourage her to try something new and different while spending time together. In turn, this this led the entire family, from Bradford, to take classes and eventually test for their black belts together.
Achieving a black belt is a very difficult task. The family began as white belts and about every 4 – 5 months tested for a new belt ranking until they achieved the highest color belt which is brown belt with black stripe – Dahn Bo Nim (black belt candidate).
From there they tested every three months for two years. During this time the goal of black belt can seem impossible. It was hard work for each of the family members. Mom Angie Bond kept the family motivated to finish what they began.
Earning a black belt is completing something that seems impossible while never giving up. Once a student achieves this level in martial arts they realize that if they never give up they are capable of achieving any goal that they have in their life.
“When I get my Black Belt it will be symbol of what I went through to get to where I will be and a reminder of what I’ve gone through,” said Abigail Bond. “I won’t ever give up because when I earn my Black Belt, which is such a massive thing, then I will feel as though I can do anything.”
As one of the requirements in becoming a black belt each member must write an essay titled “What It Means To Me To Be A Black Belt.”
“Why have I spent time and money over the past five years earning a Black Belt?” asked Kevin in his essay. “Because for me, it is a life journey to push back time, and grow spirit, soul, and body. It’s about teaching my kids not to quit and to relearn that lesson myself. It’s about being the white belt that didn’t quit because it was hard. For me a Black Belt signifies reaching a milestone and beginning a new and different journey.”
On June 14, 2015 all six members of the family promoted to first degree black belt in the traditional Korean Martial Arts – Kuk Sool Won when their thousand kicks, punches, sore muscles, aches and pains found its finish – or possibly a new beginning.