Eight Year Old Receives His 2nd Degree Black Belt

Eight Year Old Receives His 2nd Degree Black Belt

By Zora Asberry
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Riley Hardin started training in Taekwondo at very young age and in just one year, he had already achieved his black belt.

On Saturday, NewsWest 9 attended the Kukkiwon certified belt testing and watched as Riley earned his title as a Poom Second Degree Black Belt.

"I enjoy it because, it makes me challenged on whatever I do. I'm very excited and I hope that I can get my next belt and continue doing Taekwondo," said Riley.

Riley started taking Taekwondo at the age of six and his mom, Stacy Hardin, says that at the beginning it was difficult for him but one day things changed for the better.

"It seemed like that came about really quickly. Just after a couple of months, he was a lot better with his left and right and his coordination and overall balance so I think around that age it really helped a lot, develop those physical traits that you need as you grow," said Stacy.

His instructor, Master Doo Hyun Kim, says that Riley has advanced very quickly all because of the amount of time he puts into practice. His parents even turned his playroom into a Doojang so that he can practice at home.

"He almost comes everyday, every week, every month, so he spends a lot of time putting in all his time to train more about Taekwondo. So of course, best attendance is the best improvement that he got," said Kim.

Master Kim is a Kukkiwon certified Eighth-Degree Black Belt but he earned his second degree black belt when he was ten years old.

"He is only eight years old, in time wise he's (Riley's) much faster than me," said Kim.

"About two years usually is the first degree black belt time but he (Riley) is more advanced training and more focused on it so he might be ready to concentrate to the next level very quickly," said Kim.

Riley will have to wait another two years to be able to test for the next level but he hopes to earn his eighth and ninth degree black belts and test in Korea by the time he turns 17-years-old.