Herald Journal Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, April 22, 2002

Eight-year-old is a junior first degree black belt in Taekwondo

By Lynda Jensen

"Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire," said Reggie Leach.

This is 8-year-old Lorin Andrews' recipe for achievement ­ something that qualified him for the US Junior Olympic Taekwondo Championships to be conducted at the Metrodome in July.

Andrews is a first degree junior black belt in Taekwondo and one of a few of the youngest black belts in the region. He attends the Byung Yul Lee's World Taekwondo Academy in Delano.

The Junior Olympic event is the largest Taekwondo event in the world.

The nimble youth, who stands about four feet and two inches high, is the son of Dexter and Jennifer Andrews of Waverly.

He has been practicing ever since he was five years old, Jennifer said.

Andrews spends hours every week to perfect his skills and self discipline, Jennifer said.

To reach the level he attained, Andrews had to work through 10 belt levels.

When he was finished in December, he graduated with two other adults in Delano.

Andrews helps instruct other students,working once a week on something called the leadership team in this capacity. This satisfies part of the requirements for his black belt.

Among skills he knows are sparring, forms, and weapons.

Forms is a series of movements, much like a gymnastic routine, Jennifer said.

Sparring is dodging and hitting an opponent at specific points while wearing safety gear. The object in sparring is to have enough self control to hit the target, but not hurt that person.

Weapons involves self defensive movements, which Andrews does using a bo stick, she said.

Andrews holds about three dozen medals, medallions, certificates and statues.

In March, Andrews took two trophies home from the Hutchinson Open, second place in sparring and third place in forms.

Andrews also earned a state championship award for forms. He placed at the US tournament of Champions in St. Paul in 2000.

Also in 2000, he earned the most improved student trophy at the Byung Yul Lee school, which was given to him among the 80 youths that attend there.

There are a number of other Byung Yul Lee locations in the Metro Area, including Maple Grove, Osseo, and Roseville.

Other achievements include two first-place honors for forms and quick kick, eight second-place honors for forms, four third-place honors for categories such as sparring and forms.

All of these exercises teach speed, agility, self control, timing, reflexes, hand eye coordination, and confidence.

The original idea to take up Taekwondo was Lorin's, Jennifer said, as they drove by the building.

He's been faithful to it ever since, spending large amounts of time being committed to the craft, she said.


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