When you think of martial arts what do you think of? Karate? Kung-Fu? I think of tae kwon do because I am training to promote to my black belt. I’ve been studying at Chris Gates Tae Kwon Do Health Center for about 3 1⁄2 years. The instructors there are all black belts and former students. Master Gates owns the school and sometimes teaches classes. He is a fourth-degree black belt.

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There is a place for everyone there. If you are an adult, you can join the Master’s Training Course. If you are younger (ages 7-10), you can start with the Basic Training Course. You can be a student moving up in the belt ranks like me. There are even classes for kids as young as 3.

To receive my black belt I will be required to pass tests including completing 100 push-ups in four sets of 25. I will also have to know the eight basic forms of tae kwon do. Being a black belt doesn’t just have to do with kicking and punching. You must have a black-belt attitude, which means you should persevere and never give up, you should be respectful and put others first. The center is at 747 Pulaski Rd., Greenlawn. Phone: 631-757-4222 Online: chrisgates.com