On Saturday, December 22 2019, Alliance blackbelt and instructor Ms Tammy Fairbanks undertook the exam for 4th Dan, which is the Kukkiwon Master degree. This is an honor and a privilege, as very few practitioners maintain the progress and dedication to become a master in any system of martial arts.
The rank of 4th Dan Master is one of the most significant, because it represents years of study and dedication, and when achieved confers a host of responsibilities and privileges upon the recipient. A Master degree in Taekwondo is analogous with an academic Master degree in that the holder of such a degree is considered to be highly knowledgeable and proficient in the subject area, and has put a lot of time and effort into achieving the degree. In the case of the Taekwondo Master degree, it represents a minimum of eight to ten years of experience, with at least six of those years spent training and teaching at or above the black belt level. In the case of Ms Tammy Fairbanks, she began training over twenty six years ago and is one of the only blackbelts that has been with Alliance since it was founded. After a handful of years off to focus on motherhood during the 2000s, Ms Tammy came back to train and teach with Alliance and has been active ever since, including a training trip in Korea in 2010, and earning her 3rd Dan blackbelt as well as lifetime Chang Moo Kwan membership in 2012.
The exam was administered by 6th Dan Master Linda Catalano as chief examiner, with 6th Dan Master Ken Sorenson – a former Alliance student and blackbelt – as a guest examiner. It took nearly two hours from start to finish and included multiple patterns, hand to hand and weapon fighting techniques, board and brick breaking, candle techniques and sword techniques, broken glass and academic material.
Ms Tammy Fairbanks completed her exam on Thursday, January 31st, 2019. Please join us in congratulating this outstanding blackbelt and instructor on this lifetime achievement; congratulations, Master Tammy Fairbanks, 4th Dan! 필승