Third-degree Black Belt Jordan Palmer wasn’t the first student ever to achieve that rank. She wasn’t the first at Oakmont Martial Arts. But she does hold a very special distinction.
She is the first student at OMA to start as a Tiger and make it to third degree Black Belt.
If you’re bad at math, that’s a pretty significant chunk of time for someone so young. “It took me about 8 years to achieve my rank of third degree Black Belt,” Jordan said. “I started training when I was 4 years old as a Tiny Tiger.
Eight years can be a long time, even for an adult. In Jordan’s case, it exemplifies the Black Belt attribute of perseverance. She didn’t do it alone, though. Lots of people helped keep going on the path. “One thing that keeps me motivated is my family and friends,” she said.
The road to third-degree was not without some bumps, but she didn’t give up despite a couple big obstacles. “My biggest obstacle was getting a no change the first time I tested for my second degree black belt decided,” she said. “Another one was not being able to test for my second degree when my year was up from first degree, due to a scheduled vacation.”
But there has also been some fun along the way. Along with the multitude of forms, Jordan has gotten to work with a variety of weapons. Her favorite? “My favorite weapons are double kamas,” she said.
Eight years is also a lot of broken boards and not just at testing. Does she have a favorite technique? Absolutely. “My favorite board break is an axe-kick,” she said. “It is my favorite because of how strong my legs are and my flexibility.”
After eight years of training, one might think Jordan is ready for a break. But that person would be wrong. Jordan still has big plans for her future in taekwondo and at OMA. Those goals include being an instructor one day. “My goals for moving forward are to start working towards earning my different collars,” she said. “One day I may enjoy becoming an instructor.
One thing she’ll definitely be able to teach her students: perseverance and discipline definitely pay off.
A software technical writer by day, Mary Sutton is the mother of two teens and has been making her living with words for over ten years. She is the author of the Hero’s Sword middle-grade fantasy series, writing as M.E. Sutton, and The Laurel Highlands Mysteries police-procedural series, writing as Liz Milliron. Visit her online at www.marysuttonauthor.com.