Eight students in Bob Chillemi’s karate class pass black belt test at Town House

Bob Chillemi (left) with his students on the day of the black belt test.

Courtesy Bob Chillemi's American Goju Karate Facebook page

Bob Chillemi (left) with his students on the day of the black belt test.

Excitement filled Daronco Town House June 23 as about thirteen kids ages eight to 12 took the black belt test given by Bob Chillemi’s American Goju Karate school.

This was a five-hour exam, running from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., but felt even longer. The students were required to do a number of things, including the strikes, kicks and katas they had learned from white belt to the end of brown. There are a total of seven belts, and they progress from white (gold for the younger kids) to blue, yellow, green, purple, brown and black. After that, students go on to different black-belt levels, or degrees.

Eight students were promoted to black belt:  Emily Cullen, Graham Bardolf, Eliza Brennen, Maxim Katchouri, Nicholas Pellegri, Carlson Katz, John Pellegri and Samantha Cullen.

“It feels like I earned something really exciting,” said Samantha Cullen.

The teacher, or sensei, is Bob Chillemi. He said seeing his students pass is “the best feeling in the world. It makes me very proud to see all these kids get this accomplishment.”

Chillemi is a fifth-degree black belt. Sensei Callie, his assistant, is another important figure in the karate training.

The brown belts who took the test had to perform in front of many black belts. This test is a big hurdle in karate and is amazing for anyone to achieve.

As Leo Garcia, a black belt from an earlier test, said, “It’s tiring.”

(Staff Reporter Delia Lavallee is a student in Bob Chillemi’s American Goju Karate.)