Indomitable spirits work for black belts |

Indomitable spirits work for black belts

Summit Daily/Reid WilliamsBlack belts at Stacy Towar's tae kwon do class demonstrate punches at the Silverthorne Recreation Center Wednesday. Classes are also offered at the Breckenridge Recreation Center.

SILVERTHORNE – As tae kwon do instructor Stacy Towar led her class Tuesday at the Silverthorne Recreation Center, she had to remind her students of a basic human principle.

“We can get out of things nicely, can’t we?” she asked, as they practiced breaking free of choke and wrist holds. “We don’t have to break their knees.”

“Yes ma’am,” they replied in unison. Then, just for good measure, they practiced breaking the holds and striking back in defense. But this is the fun part for the students, who are drilled mostly on courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control and the indomitable spirit.

The crew is working toward its next testing session May 8, where some will try to increase their standing in the class.

In February, a number of young martial artists moved up to black belts.

“It feels neat,” said Preston Hill, a new black belt in class. “It gives me a new energy to finally know I’m a black belt.”

And for Jay Berino, now a second-degree black belt, the promotion means he must take on new responsibility in class.

He demonstrates drills and is used by Towar to show the class the proper way to perform kicks and punches.

“I had waited an extra few months to make sure I was ready,” said Berino, who’s been in tae kwon do for 10 years.

Kimberly Liu has been a black belt for a year. Her brothers and sisters also take tae kwon do classes. Tucker Limbruner, a new black belt, has been practicing for more than eight years.

“I want to keep going to be the best I can be,” Limbruner said.

And don’t forget about Bryce Silianoff, whose mohawk is only slightly less impressive than his black belt.

“Everybody has to show form,” Towar explained. “They go through their kicks and their punches. They get to break boards, which is cool.”

The class, a part of Sahn Tae Kwon Do, offers classes at Silverthorne and the Breckenridge Recreation Center, Monday through Friday. Call (970) 668-9849.

Ryan Slabaugh can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 257, or at

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