Kirsten — a first degree black belt

Last week, I had the pleasure of taking pictures for a friend’s daughter who recently earned her black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Don’t let the smile fool you, this girl is tough and can snap your neck in a second!

We were originally planning to take these photos inside Fort Worth’s Japanese Gardens, but that place is HORRIBLE and its employees are DISRESPECTFUL. I am not a professional or commercial photographer, and I refuse to pay a fee and sign ridiculous amounts of paperwork declaring myself as something or someone I am not. I will not return to the city’s facility.

These photos were taken on the campus of Texas Christian University — are there any Frog fans out there?!?!

Kirsten has worked five years to become a first-degree black belt, and that includes taking time off for family moves and injuries. Becoming a tenth-degree black belt, the highest level, can take a lifetime. Kirsten trains under Grandmaster Won Chik Park, a ninth-degree black belt.

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While taking these photos, Kirsten gave me a history lesson in Tae Kwon Do. Hundreds, and even thousands of years ago, black belts did not exist. Back then, students only received a white belt and completed all training and competitions outside, thus eventually turning the belt black. While the path to achieve a black belt is somewhat different today, students (martial artists) do not wash their black belts. Some even consider washing their black belt means washing away their knowledge and hard work.

Finally, I am not a professional at photography or photo-editing, but I did manage to try a few skills with one image. The original photo of Kirsten doing a high kick included traffic in the background and an old, not-so-lovely yard sign advertising a campus event. I think this kick looks much better without distractions!

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By | 2013-07-14T00:05:29+00:00 July 14th, 2013|Photography|0 Comments

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  1. Celeste Zachry July 14, 2013 at 5:56 am - Reply

    These are ALL so beautiful, Nicole! Yes, you earned your black belt! Kirsten is so very pleased and thankful to both of us for doing this! Her Grandmaster must go to Korea in order to assemble enough higher ranking men to test him. Last time he was there was for his brother’s funeral. He has the MOST wonderful book called Grandmaster, that tells of him surviving the war, working with American soldiers, his immigration, teaching at TCU, and how he is one of the integral reasons the sport is now an Olympic sport. Kirsten is so blessed to train under Grandmaster Won Chik Park.

    • Nicole July 14, 2013 at 8:12 am - Reply

      Thank YOU and Kirsten for the opportunity, this was super-fun despite our location challenges. I hope you all enjoy the photos. Congrats to Kirsten on such a “striking” accomplishment — pun, definitely intended!!!! XOXOXO

  2. Pam Means July 14, 2013 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Hi Kirsten…Let me begin by saying when I opened these photos I was “shocked” to see you all grown up. I still have pictures in my mind when you were a little girl. No wonder your family is so proud of you…beautiful, Godly, accomplished!!! In other words an amazing young woman. Congratulations from Mike and me and keep up the good work.

  3. Pam Means July 14, 2013 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    PS If you ever have reason to come to Phoenix for more training…our home is your home for as long as you would like to stay.

  4. Sweet Tea Social | Three 31 July 21, 2013 at 12:11 am - Reply

    […] I had a blast at Kirsten’s photo shoot — she recently earned a black belt in Tae Kwon […]

  5. Resolution Update| July | Three 31 July 31, 2013 at 12:06 am - Reply

    […] both offer free or discounted shipping options. Dust off the Nikon camera and take some pictures. Took pictures of Kirsten on the campus of Texas Christian University with her newly-acquired black belt in Tae Kwon Do. […]

  6. Resolution Update| August | Three 31 September 1, 2013 at 12:22 am - Reply

    […] both offer free or discounted shipping options. Dust off the Nikon camera and take some pictures. Took pictures of Kirsten on the campus of Texas Christian University with her newly-acquired black belt in Tae Kwon Do. […]

  7. […] both offer free or discounted shipping options. Dust off the Nikon camera and take some pictures. Took pictures of Kirsten on the campus of Texas Christian University with her newly-acquired black belt in Tae Kwon Do. […]

  8. […] both offer free or discounted shipping options. Dust off the Nikon camera and take some pictures. Took pictures of Kirsten on the campus of Texas Christian University with her newly-acquired black belt in Tae Kwon Do. […]

  9. […] both offer free or discounted shipping options. Dust off the Nikon camera and take some pictures. Took pictures of Kirsten on the campus of Texas Christian University with her newly-acquired black belt in Tae Kwon Do. […]

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