Dufresne earns black belt and teaches Tae Kwon Do to children



courtesy of Cindy Steinebrunner

Hanna Dufresne (second one from the left) performs with her Tae Kwon Do demo team.

by Alicia Nasto, Editor-In-Chief

Earning a black belt in Tae Kwon Do is rigorous for anyone at any age. Hanna Dufresne earned her black belt at age 10 and has been training at Sykesville Tae Kwon Do since she was five years old.

To reach black belt status, Dufresne had to pass three separate tests: a physical, written, and performance. She had to be able to do 100 jumping jacks in 60 seconds, 100 push-ups in a minute and 30 seconds, 100 sit-ups in a minute, and be able to perform certain Tae Kwon Do sequences and forms.

Hanna Dufresne’s mom, Missi, said that during a one-hour intense physical workout as a Brown Senior Belt, “Some had to stop and were going to be sick, and some had cried from exhaustion…she made it through the whole hour class and did the best she could the whole time.”

There were times Hanna Dufresne would want to give up, especially when training for her black belt. Missi Dufresne said, “I let her miss a class here and there and then reminded her of how close she was to getting the next belt. I let her know that we would take it one belt at a time.”

Hanna now has her 2nd degree black belt.

Hanna Dufresne has also shown her achievements through her demo team. They perform at festivals, school carnivals, and the Frederick Keys game every year. Dufresne performs with nunchucks, a bowstaff, knife defense, and other creative forms to music.
Dufresne continues to push herself in Tae Kwon Do. She started teaching a class of 5-6 year olds last May, hoping to teach children the importance of self defense. Her awareness of bullying in school is one of the reasons she chose to start learning Tae Kwon Do.  

She said, “I want to teach kids how to defend themselves so they don’t get hurt because I used to get bullied in elementary school.”