BY JOE MARVILLI
The spirit of Taekwondo is alive and well in Bayside, at the New York Black Belt Center. For proof, one will have to go no further than attending the school’s festival/championship this Sunday.
The event will take place on April 6 at Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy’s Bayside campus, in the gymnasium of St. Roberts Bellarmine. It will be competitive for all of the participants but all of the students will receive a 2014 Championship trophy.
“It’s set up like a competition but there’s no winners or losers,” Headmaster Joseph Lupo Jr., the center’s founder, said. “Every child goes home with a trophy. Every kid leaves a winner.”
This is the third year that NYBBC has held this festival, with the number of participants growing each time around. This year, Lupo said that about 200 students will take part.
Besides the number of competitors, this year’s festival is also special because it is the first time that the school is promoting black belts. Seven students in total will receive promotions, with one student earning a fourth-degree black belt.
“Promoting black belts is the pinnacle of any martial arts school. It’s a big accomplishment,” Lupo said.
The black belt examination will start at 9 a.m. The festival/tournament will run from noon to 6 p.m. The event is open to the public.
“Everything’s done in the spirit of taekwondo,” Lupo said. “They learn at the end of the day that as long as you try your hardest, that’s what counts.”
St. Roberts Bellarmine is located at 56-15 213th St., Bayside. The New York Black Belt Center is located at 216-03 Horace Harding Expy., Bayside. For more information about its programs, call (718) 224-0855.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Joey788.