Student Profile: BYMS 7th Grader Maheley Rodriguez Prepares to Earn her Black Belt in Taekwondo


Photo Courtesy of Maheley Rodriguez

Taekwondo is in the top ten most popular martial arts in the US and BYMS 7th grader, Mahely Rodriguez, is preparing to earn her black belt in Taekwondo this upcoming summer.

“You have to take three tests to get a black belt.The first test is a pretest to check if your ready to take the real test. The second test is when you do sparing and practicing on kicks. The third test is the final test when you a lot of breaking boards and bricks, and earn your black belt,” stated Mahely.

Mahaely Rodriguez has been training in Taekwondo for about four years and trains at Fearless Martial Arts in Placentia. “What I love most about Taekwondo are the new techniques and self defense,” stated Mahely.

At Fearless Martial Arts, Mahely’s dojo or Taekwondo practice hall, the students progress through eight different full color belts, not including white belts. These belts are yellow, orange, green, purple, blue, brown, red, and black belts.

The yellow belt symbolizes that the student is learning to create a foundation for Taekwondo. The orange belt recognizes that the student is learning Taekwondo but does not yet see its power. The green belt recognizes the students has began to develop power. The purple belt symbolizes the student is moving on to more advanced training. The blue belt symbolizes the student is halfway to a blackbelt and is focusing their power on the black belt. The brown belt recognizes that the student has mastered the basics of Taekwondo. The red belt symbolizes that the students physical strength is mastered but lacks control. The black recognizes that the student has mastered all of the belts according to

Along with full color belts, Mahely’s dojo has subcategory belts such as blue advance, brown advance, red advance, and deputy black belt.

Like is in most sports, the athlete finds it difficult to juggle school and Taekwondo “The most challenging about juggling school and Taekwondo is doing my homework and studying for a test,”  said Mahely Rodriguez.

In addition to the training and earning of belts, Mahely feels she has also had a number of significant moments in this sport, “The moment I was most proud of is when I was building my self confidence,” stated Mahely.

Taekwondo which originated from Korea according to, is also the national sport in Korea according to “The thing that motivated me to start Taekwondo was the different type of kicks,” stated Mahely. Taekwondo emphasises on learning kicks more than other martial arts such as Karate and Kung Fu according to

In an interview with the Matador Messenger Mahely stated, “I would encourage others to take Taekwondo because they can build self confidence and strength.”