The Valdosta Daily Times
Mark Webb had a hurt leg and could barely walk. That wasn’t going to slow him down. He had worked too hard, and some injury wasn’t going to stop him from becoming a Fifth-Degree Black Belt, or from at least testing to become one.
Good thing he tested.
Webb, a longtime Martial Arts participant in Valdosta, recently received the news that he had officially achieved the mark of Fifth-Degree Black Belt, despite suffering a nagging leg injury just days before his test in June.
The announcement was made by Mitchell Church, the Chief Instructor and owner of Performance Martial Arts Academy.
Webb tested for the Fifth-Degree Black Belt at the World Championships in Little Rock, Ark. this past June. During his testing, Webb had to demonstrate the Fourth-Degree Black Belt form, perform a weapons demonstration, board breaking of four stations and sparring for several rounds.
After weeks of sitting around and waiting for his results, and waiting for the Grand Master to approve his evaluations, Webb found out he had achieved Fifth-Degree.
“I remember Mr. Church saying to me, ‘I know you love Taekwondo, but if you’ll love it more, I’ll show you what you’re truly capable of,” Webb said.
That 2007 conversation proved to make the difference in Webb, who became more serious with Taekwondo and started competing across the country in various competitions, eventually working his way into world competitions.
Since then, Webb has excelled.
He won two World Championship titles in 2008 in Traditional Forms and Traditional Weapons, and four World Championship titles in Extreme Forms and Extreme Weapons and Creative Forms and Creative Weapons this June. He has also won 18 Georgia State Championship titles since 2007.
Webb has specialization in weapons instruction of Jahng Bong (mid-range and long-range staff), Jee Pahng Ee (cane) and Sam Dam Bong ( three section staff).
Studying martial arts since 1991, Webb and his son began taking Taekwondo classes together under Church’s direction. They both completed their First-Degree Black Belts in 1993. Webb then went on to complete his Second and Third Degree Black Belts in 2004, reaching his Fourth Degree Black Belt in 2008.
With his love and passion turning to Taekwondo, Webb’s wife Dorraine also started classes. She achieved First-Degree status and was named the Georgia Triple Crown State Champion in 2008 and 2009.
“Dorraine has been a vital part of my accomplishments,” Webb said. “And last but not least, I want to thank Mr. Church for his years of instruction, challenge and belief in me.”
Webb will be eligible to test for rank of Sixth-Degree Black Belt in 2017. Mitchell Church is on the path to Mastership and will test for his Sixth-Degree Black Belt in June of 2013.