Today marks the inaugural post for our Black Belt of the Month series. Check in each month as we feature a different Black Belt and highlight their achievements, aspirations, foibles, fun facts, and more.
The Black Belt for the month of November is Christophe Goeminne.
How old are you now and what age did you start TKD?
I am 13 turning 14 on November 10. I started TKD around 6 1/2 years old.
Who is your favorite TKD athlete and why?
Nia Abdallah is my favorite Taekwondo athlete because first off, she is from my hometown of Houston. She is a sparring athlete who has had very good fights and she works hard for what she wants. Nia is very inspiring and I like to learn from her achievements as well as her failures. Some of her achievements have been receiving a Silver Medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, being on the US National TKD Team 4 years in a row, and being ranked 65th by WTF in her division in 2012.
Name one or two of your heroes. What makes them heroic to you? (Does not have to be someone in TKD)
William Bratton is heroic to me because he has dedicated his whole life to law enforecemnt and military. William Bratton was a Marine who fought in the Vietnam war and became a police officer at the Boston Police department. Then, he was invited to be chief of the NYC Transit Police. After that, he became Commissioner at the NYPD, became Chief at LAPD, and was invited back again for another term as Commissioner of NYPD. He has dedicated his whole life to fighting for our country and working to make many large cities, such as LA and New York, very safe by implementing new strategies and statistics, etc.
What are your hobbies?
On my free time I enjoy playing the clarinet in Wind Symphony Band, going to Downtown LA visiting many museums about history, visiting police stations, going to the shooting range, playing soccer, and traveling. Also, I am constantly trying out different sports and hobbies for fun.
Name one of your accomplishments outside of TKD.
Other than TKD, I’m proud of being enrolled in Honor classes as well as improving my “mile time” by 4 minutes in the past couple of months. I’m also proud of how much I study and learn about History.
What’s one silly fact about you?
I like to talk with adults and like to help with younger kids more than I talk or am social with kids my age. This isn’t really a “silly fact” but it is definitely something that puts me out of the ordinary.
What are some of your favorite subjects in school?
My favorite school subjects are History and Math because I like learning about many different countries and their history, as well as Math, because it helps me understand the sizes, shapes, and dimensions of every object and place in the world.
Finish this sentence “I would love to be (name cartoon character) because ______”
I would love to be Sherlock Holmes because he is smart and always thinks through and brings people to justice.
Tell us about a peak moment in TKD, one that you are especially proud of and will never forget
A peak moment in TKD is when I received my First Dan Black Belt. And that just made me realize when I had first put on a white belt and how much hard work I put in and how long I studied TKD to get to that point.
What is your favorite TKD move or form? What do you like about it?
My favorite TKD form so far is “Bo Staff Form 5” because it has many movements and I like being able to do different things with a staff. I would always see this in movies and it’s really cool to be able to practice it on my own.
What are 5 adjectives your friends and family would use to describe you?
Smart, inquisitive, strong, empathetic, and generous.
If you could have any virtue, what would it be and why?
It would be to be more social with people my own age because it is something I struggle with. I wish I had more social connections with (people) my own age.
What are three of your favorite foods?
Pizza, fish and chips, and crepes.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I listen to Classical, Baroque, Frank Sinatra / Bobby Darin / Oldies Music, and modern day music such as Pop and Hip Hop / Rap.
What is something that few people know about you?
Few people know about me that I do Taekwondo and that I am a Black Belt Leader.
What advice would you give a white belt who wants to get his/her black belt someday too?
I would say it doesn’t come easy and to just work hard and give it your best every time.