Photos by Nicole Goldstein
27 martial arts students, who range in age from just 10 years old to 74, received their black belts at the Black Belt Spectacular on March 1, 2013. Shihan Craig Haley, a sixth-degree black belt master instructor and co-owner of Elite Force Martial Arts,led the Lighthouse Point team that performed in the Spectacular. Three students were awarded their second degree black belts.
Sensei Stephanie Walkling received her 5th degree.
Sensei Vince Pratico received his 4th degree.
Sylvia Scremin and Andrew Barry received their 3rd degree.
Mickey Andersen, Maureen McMillan, Christine Fingado, Dr. Brian Fingado and Hunter Fingado, Danielle Daze, Veronique Manchec, Tony Hall, Micah Williams, Eric Willner all got their 2nd degree black belts.
New black belts – Chuck Marchitello, Nancy Marchitello, Ellen Schulman, Shawnee Happel, Desmond Maher, Ian Noble, Miri Michaeli, Reuven Michaeli, Tamara Gmitter, Jack Schwencke, Rashad Khonat, Louden Devine, Steve Belanger
According to Haley, achieving a black belt requires a three- to five-year process that includes consistent training to achieve required levels of strength, flexibility and endurance. Students also must gain a command of martial arts self defense techniques, forms and combinations. Black belt candidates are required to complete a rigorous four-month testing process to measure run times, knowledge of mixed martial arts skills acquired throughout the multi-year belt cycle and the ability to perform those skills .
“Each of our candidates succeeded in overcoming obstacles, ranging from running and conditioning to time management, even performance anxiety, to reach their black belt goal,” said Shihan Haley. “They stretched themselves and demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the martial arts. I’m extremely proud of them.”
Elite Force Martial Arts, founded by Haley and Shihan KC Colvin, has locations in Lighthouse Point, Fort Lauderdale and Plantation. For more information, visit www.eliteforcemartialarts.com, facebook.com/eliteforcemartialartslhp, or call 954-785-1348.