Thursday, July 14, 2016

94 year old man earns his sixth degree black belt

Black Belts Matter

94 year old man earns his sixth degree black belt

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

A local man is making history in a big way.

94-year-old Doctor Harlan Van Over has held many titles in his life. And now, he can add being a sixth degree black belt to that list.

He's the oldest person to test for this level and he says he isn't stopping anytime soon.

Doctor Harlan Van Over is also breaking records. Van Over is now one of about 200 people to achieve the honor of a sixth degree black belt, and he's definitely the oldest to reach this milestone.

"My mind says one thing, but my body says who do you think your talking to," Van Over said.

"I've looked death in the face many times so I don't worry about it," Van Over said.

He is also a World War II veteran.

As a bombardier for the Airforce he was shot down three times over Germany, and lives to tell the tale. He tells 14 News what he learned in the military, carries over to his training.

"You have to have a positive attitude and you have to always try to do the best you can," Van Over said.

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Rank and belts are not equivalent between arts, styles, or even within some organizations. In some arts, a black belt is expected in three years, while in others ten years may be common. Testing for black belt is commonly more rigorous and more centralized than for lower grades.

The degrees of Black Belt are divided into three distinct classes. The 1st through 3rd degree are considered the novice stages of Black Belt. Students are still merely beginners in comparison to higher degrees.

At 4th degree, the student crosses the threshold of puberty and enters the expert class.

7th to 8th is composed of the Tae- kwon-Do Masters - the elite who fully understand all the particulars of Taekwon-Do, mental and physical with the 9th degree signifying the pinnacle of what is usually a life time of dedication to the art.

A black belt with a white ribbon running the length of it on one side indicates a junior (under 16 yrs.) Black Belt exponent.

Black belts matter

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