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TLC Martial Arts Academy hosts color belt awards Press Release | Thu, Sep 01 2011 12:43 AM

Several students from the Trinity Life Church Martial Arts Academy underwent testing for colored belts on July 30 and were feted at an awards ceremony on Aug. 6 in Chula Vista.

The Martial Arts Academy is a ministry of Trinity Life Church of San Diego and is conducted in a Christian atmosphere. 

 Students were required to complete a written examination, which involved translating English to Japanese and Japanese to English.

After the written examination was completed, students underwent a battery of physical tests that involved the demonstration of martial arts forms (kata), several defensive and offensive techniques and recitation of the karate creed.  The testing concluded with the students having to break boards.

The students who were tested for advancement included Armando Washington Sr., Armando Washington Jr., Anthony Villarreal, Nicholas Lizarraga, Robert Lozada and Jessica Avalos.

Students who successfully passed their tests were presented with certificates of martial arts rank and new color belts at last weekend’s awards ceremony.

The individual black belt masters who sat on the board of examiners are icons in the martial arts world.

Grand Master James Wilson, a ninth degree black belt grand master in Korean tae-kwon-do, is a vice president of the California Unified Tae-Kwon-Do Association and founder and chief Instructor of the Southwestern Association of Martial Arts.

Master Orned Gabriel, known nationally as “Chicken Gabriel,”  is an eighth degree black belt master in Chinese kenpo karate and 2005 inductee in the California Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

Master Pete Salas is an eighth degree black belt in Chinese kenpo karate.  Known affectionately as “Sweet Pete,” Salas is the chief instructor at the Pete Salas Chinese Kenpo Academy.

Sensei Judy Vander Lyke, a world champion karate fighter, is a senior instructor at the International Institute of Martial Arts.

The chief instructor of the Trinity Life Church Martial Arts Academy is Master Byron Mantack, sensei, who has high degree black belts in various martial arts  disciplines, including Okinawan shorin-ryu, Chinese kenpo, Brazilian jujitsu and Japanese kodokan judo.

Trinity Life Church Martial Arts Academy meets every Friday at 6:30 p.m. at 940 Hilltop Drive in Chula Vista.

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