Ranger Review

Taekwondo athlete owns more than thirty medals

Lauren+Blake+breaks+board+during++performance+at+the+USTC+Masters+Challenge.+%E2%80%9CIt+takes+anywhere+from+four+to+six+years+to+get+a+black+belt%2C+I+would+really+like+to+receive+my+third+degree+before+going+off+to+college.%E2%80%9D
Lauren Blake breaks board during  performance at the USTC Masters Challenge. “It takes anywhere from four to six years to get a black belt, I would really like to receive my third degree before going off to college.”

Lauren Blake breaks board during performance at the USTC Masters Challenge. “It takes anywhere from four to six years to get a black belt, I would really like to receive my third degree before going off to college.”

Shari Blake

Shari Blake

Lauren Blake breaks board during performance at the USTC Masters Challenge. “It takes anywhere from four to six years to get a black belt, I would really like to receive my third degree before going off to college.”

Emily Hoffman, Ranger Review Reporter

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Originating in South Korea, Taekwondo is a martial art that requires mental and physical strength, determination and perseverance. Lauren Blake, 12, is beginning her final year as a student at Lewis-Palmer High School. Though Blake is not involved in any school sports, she has partaken in taekwondo since she was six years old.

Currently training at the US Taekwondo Center in Monument, Blake is a paid instructor, a member of the school’s demonstration team and a hard working student who maintains a second degree black belt. Blake spends anywhere from six to eight hours in a week training and fifteen hours a week instructing.

Blake has been a member of USTC’s Demonstration team since 2014. This team competes at the state, national, and international level, all in which the team has medaled within the top three teams. “We have competed in Masters Challenge which is USTC only, US Open Taekwondo Hanmadang which is international, State Championships which is Colorado only, and USAT Nationals which is the USA only,” Blake said. Blake participated in all competitions, performances, and events, allowing her to earn the title of a three time state silver medalist and two time national gold medalist.

When asked who her role model and favorite taekwondo team were, both of Blake’s answers referred to the team she currently trains with. “ My role model would be a past demo team member, Stacia, and my favorite taekwondo team is the team I travelled to nationals with in 2016,” Blake described her team as her second family and loves to coach and help better themselves as a team. There have been few times when Blake has had the urge to quit taekwondo; however, the motivational support she received from her team members encouraged her to change her mind as she realized she loved the sport and the people she trained with.

Blake has many goals she hopes to achieve throughout her taekwondo career. As she is currently a second degree black belt, one of her goals for the near future is to become a third degree black belt. “It takes anywhere from four to six years to get a black belt, I would really like to receive my third degree before going off to college,” Blake said. She also shared the excitement and joy she has while teaching kicks and other techniques to students of all ages, as this is her favorite part of taekwondo. Therefore, another goal of hers is to coach the recreational team to success. She hopes the recreational team will follow their competition team’s footsteps by stealing the gold medals at future competitions.

Owning more than thirty medals herself, Blake hopes to add to her collection by continuing to take part in taekwondo throughout her college years.  Blake explained that because taekwondo has been a huge part of her life since such a young age, she does not see a time in the future when she is not training on the cold mats of her taekwondo dojang.

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About the Writer
Emily Hoffman, Ranger Review Reporter

Emily Hoffman is a senior at Lewis-Palmer High School and is a Ranger Review reporter. She enjoys Taekwondo which she has been doing for almost twelve years. She has competed and medaled in competitions at the state, national, and international level and also earned a spot on the Colorado State Taekwondo Team. Emily is especially close to her mom and sister and loves to try new restaurants and go shopping with them. In her free time, Emily loves to take pictures and spend time with her friends and family. While finishing up her junior year, Emily discovered her passion for writing and editing. After high school she plans to go to college and major in Journalism, hoping to become a skilled photojournalist or editor. In 2015, Emily traveled to South Korea and fell in love with the country. She hopes to have the chance to study in Korea during her college years and to reserve an English teaching job for a few years after graduating college. As this being Emily’s first year taking part in her school’s Newspaper Production, she is excited for the opportunities to improve herself as a writer and make memories along the way!

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