Aaron’s in the black after a testing time

Aaron Willis, black belt at age 13
Aaron Willis, black belt at age 13

Aaron Willis of Bo’ness is only 13 but he’s not the type of boy you’d want to tangle with - he’s a black belt!

But, for all that, he’s a gentle and sensitive young man according to mum and dad, Yvonne (45) and Derek (47) who live in Acre Road in the town.

And, that’s down to his training, which promotes respect and discipline according to the Derek Gilmour Black Belt Academy in Linlithgow.

Aaron, who started training in May 2005 at the age of five worked in the 4-6 year old programme before moving on to the full Taekwon-do programme.

To gain his black belt first degree, Aaron had to undertake a stringent exam process including both a theory and a physical test. Prior to that grading he was required to complete a 
personal thesis with a minimum of 2000 words.

Part one of the exam is a run around Linlithgow Loch in a dedicated time which is set dependent on the grade.

Then comes the written exam with 160 questions to be answered within one hour taken immediately after the run.

The questions cover techniques, history of the sport and Korean terminology.

The practical test covers movement, kicking, 
fitness, pre-arranged sparring, hosinsul (self defence), technical sparring and 
destruction (board breaking).

Instructor Derek said: “Aaron has a long future ahead of him within Taekwon-do as this now opens up a whole new world to him. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your students achieve their goals.”