Calvin Endres, CENTER, with instructor Josh Hartwigsen and Master Harold Hawkins.
In February, Calvin Endres, 11, of Nashville saw the culmination of more than four-and-a-half years of effort when he earned his black belt (First Poon) in Tae Kwon Do studying under Master Harold Hawkins at the Hawkins School of Tae Kwon Do in Mt. Vernon.
Endres is now a fifth grader at St. Ann School, but when he began, in October of 2013, he was in first grade and just six years old. In an essay written by Calvin as part of the process of earning his black belt, he said that he initially was interested in martial arts because of his love of swords and because his uncle was studying Tae Kwon Do in Collinsville.
Endres detailed some of what he has gone through to get to this point, saying that he has given a huge amount of effort to this and has made sacrifices, particularly when it comes to his time, saying that he might spend nine or 10 hours in a week practicing his art, not including preparation and travel time. Calvin also acknowledged the sacrifices that his parents, Calvin and Lynette Endres, have made in helping him to walk this path.
“One thing is for certain,” Calvin wrote. “No one is giving this belt to me…I never gave up and overcame many hard things.”
“Each belt has brought about challenges, and change, some good, some not as much,” he continued. “As I have grown, physically and mentally, I have also changed and learned many new things about how the world works and about myself.”