homepage logo

Zurbriggen meets Taekwondo black belt goal

By Staff | May 11, 2010

Kyle Zurbriggen, a resident of Sanibel, recently reached a personal goal of achieving black belt status in the martial art of Taekwondo.

For the past six years, Sanibel Island resident Kyle Zurbriggen has been training his body and mental fitness with one goal in mind: to someday be a black belt in the martial art of Taekwondo.

There are six parts to the Taekwondo Doctrine. One part is perseverance. It takes a lot of perseverance in order to keep going to class, keep listening to your instructor and your parents and continue to strive to become better at a set of skills.

“It is important because it shows us something to strive for and something that we should hope to have,” declared the new black belt on a written exam question about the Taekwondo Doctrine that was part of the application to test for the goal he has had for almost half of his life.

At the ceremony, Master Charlie Gibbard showed a stack of forms (approximately 1,000 applicants) of students he has had in training and only seven of these students have persevered to become black belts. Combine perseverance with courtesy, self-control, modesty, integrity and indomitable spirit.

Finally, after six years of training, Kyle’s perseverance has paid off and he has met his goal.

In order to graduate with a black belt designation at the Gulf Coast Martial Arts School of Taekwondo, Kyle had to practice and learn 10 different poomse’s, which are Korean-style forms that represent the art of kicking and punching. Many people consider martial arts as training to be a “tough guy” and for fighting purposes only. Although Kyle is a strong youngster, “He is not a fighter, thank goodness!” reports his mother, Evette.

In addition to the poomse’s, many hours of physical endurance training at the dojang are required along with intensive skills that can be used in self defense.

When questioned about what integrity means to Kyle, he stated, “It means to do something for others not only for yourself, and to be trustworthy and stick to what you do.”

Since integrity is as important in his everyday life as it is in being a black belt, Kyle enjoys many other sports and he incorporates volunteer and service work into everything he does. He can be seen playing baseball, soccer and swims on the SWAT team.

As a home-schooled student, Kyle knows that part of learning is to do community service too. He spends every Wednesday afternoon helping younger children at LOGOS held at Sanibel Community Church and has been known to drop in at the nursery to help take care of very small children on Sunday mornings. 

In addition to helping others, he is passionate about helping to save the environment and animals, too. Kyle is part of the H2O Youth Group on the island and is always one of the first to volunteer to work on short term mission projects and is grateful for the fellowship and the Faith-filled support he gets from others.

Since the next six years of his life will go by faster than the previous years, Kyle has set some realistic goals for what he wants to accomplish over the next five years.

“1 – Get a black belt, 2 – Be better to my friends and family, 3 – Become more helpful around the house and outside it, 4 – Learn the true meaning of speed, power, timing, distance and I know desire, but learn more about desire, 5- Get some form of a job and make some money," he stated.

In his essay for his belt promotion, Kyle wrote, “Being a black belt means to be well disciplined, and to know the way of honor. The thing about being a black belt is that you should be patient and have confidence, not to mention the skills it takes to learn and to get to where you are in your place of achievement so far. One must learn to be controlled, strong yet gentle and courageous.”

Anyone who lives on the island can rest assured that meeting Kyle on a dark path at night should not be intimidating since he has earned his black belt with honor… he is definitely controlled, strong, gentle and courageous.