10-year-old First Nations girl earns black belt in taekwondo
Aurora Lavallee first started the martial art at age 5
CBC News, Dec 21, 2015
Aurora Lavallee is a shy 10-year-old girl until she hits the taekwondo mat.
She earned her first-degree black belt over the weekend at St. Anne’s Parish in Regina, making her one of the youngest First Nations girls to achieve this level in the martial art.
“I was really excited but really nervous,” Aurora said.
She was tested on the skills she’s been learning with the Regina South Zone Taekwon-Do Club for the past five years. The hour and half exam involved breaking wooden boards, sparring, and doing taekwondo patterns. There was also a lengthy written test.
“She took it upon herself, without us as parents pushing her, to open up her manual and [to study] every other evening, voluntarily preparing herself for the test, ” Aurora’s father, Ira Lavallee, said.
Ira, who is Chief of the Piapot First Nation, signed his daughter up for taekwondo at a young age because he remembered the impact the sport made on his own life. He also has a black belt.
“Where I am today, I credit part of that to the lessons I learned through taekwondo,” Ira said.
“Taekwondo encompasses a way of life and I guess it teaches us to respect each other. One of philosophies of taekwondo is, it’s not just to beat people up, it’s to protect and preserve and promote a better society.”
The proud father explained that the martial art has helped Aurora gain more confidence, overcoming her shy nature.
Like her own father’s dream, Aurora’s goal is to make it to the world championship.
“I hope she continues to have interest in taekwondo so she can compete on behalf of all First Nations people and to someday teach and teach other First Nations people about taekowndo,” Ira said.
“It’s rare for a First Nations youth to achieve what she has and I just want to see her go as far as she can with it.”
Posted on December 21, 2015, in Uncategorized, Warrior and tagged Aurora Lavallee, Indigenous peoples and martial arts, martial arts training, Piapot First Nation, Tae Kwon Do. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.