Member Highlight: Mr. Daniel McFarlane

Published on July 16, 2014 by SMallick | Comments (0)

Daniel McFarlane

Black Belt Number: #2453

 Grading for 1st Dan                                                                                                                                                    

         The energy reverberated throughout Simon Rec Center on May 2nd, as SLU Karate students feverishly prepared for what was to come later that evening: grading.  This day, however, was especially pivotal for Mr. Dan McFarlane who graded for 1st Dan Black  in Cheezic Tang Soo Do.

A former SLU student, Mr. McFarlane joined the club as a freshman in 2008.  He was always fascinated with martial arts, but being part of SLU Karate converted a vague interest into a strong passion.  “When I walked in the door as a white belt I had some prior experience with Tae Kwon Do but I didn’t think of becoming a black belt as more than ‘oh that would be really cool!’ Working my way through the color belt ranks I always had hopes of making it that far, but I didn’t know if I would stay in St. Louis long enough,” says McFarlane.

Tang Soo Do alone wasn’t the only deciding factor; the people themselves impacted McFarlane’s choice to remain. He feels that SLU Karate is a tight-knit, encouraging, and remarkable community.

“To achieve a lifelong goal [earning his black belt] with this group of people makes it that much more special. Within this club you find a lot more than kicks and punches and some forms. You find a family of sorts, people who push you and support you, and who remind you that being a student of martial arts never ends,” he reflects.

On describing the grading itself, Mr. McFarlane doesn’t sugarcoat: the black belt test was grueling and strenuous. He says, “as for the process of grading for 1st Dan, I will say this: I was tested like never before, both mentally and physically. When I received the letter inviting me to grade, I felt I had an obligation to myself, the club, and my instructors to give everything I had and then some. I wanted to prove I was worthy of the consideration I was given."

While grading was undoubtedly nerve-wracking, McFarlane felt fortunate and exhilarated simultaneously.

“Those three weeks leading up to grading I felt very locked in, but also very anxious. My grading was an experience I will never forget. To be promoted in front of every instructor and mentor I have had for the last 6 years was an incredibly humbling thing. I am the least of the black belts, but to be considered among them is a huge, humbling honor; it means more to me than any academic degree.“

Mr. McFarlane attributes his progress to SLU Karate instructors, who were there every step of the way. He’d like to thank them, along with other members, for continually showing him support.

“[I want to thank] everyone who has been a part of SLU Karate for the past 6 years, whether they were a white belt who tried it for a semester, or those dedicated enough to last a few years, or my instructors, Masters Beardsley and Mize, Mr. Nguyen, Ms. Thampy, and Mr. Cormier. These instructors have pushed me farther physically and mentally than I thought possible when I walked through the door as a freshman white belt wanting to get back into martial arts. “ 




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