Athlete Spotlight: John Earl, Tae Kwon Do

By: Abby Murphy 



Sixteen-year-old, second degree blackbelt, Tae Kwon Do Athlete, John Earl was honored by winning Youth Male Athlete of the Year for Meijer State Games of Michigan. He is described as "nothing short of extraordinary". Earl is a very bright and compassionate individual, as well as a great representative for the sport of Tae Kwon Do.

Children tend to learn a lot from watching television and movies. Ten years ago it was a movie for Earl where he was introduced to a new sport that he has now been a part of ever since and still going strong. Just before his sixth birthday, Earl watched a martial arts movie and wanted to be just like them. All he wanted for his birthday that year was to be like the guys in the movie. A few weeks later his parents signed him up for Tae Kwon Do and he has been involved ever since. Other people around Earl have watched him grow up through Tae Kwon Do. Shawn Scholten said, “I have watched John as he has grown from kid to a leader through Tae Kwon Do.” Tae Kwon Do has helped Earl learn and grow. He has become a leader and greatly motivated, all from stumbling across a movie.

In only ten years of participating and competing in Tae Kwon Do Earl has earned his first degree blackbelt but also his second degree blackbelt. He works extremely hard and takes pride in everything that he does. Just last year in the Meijer State Games of Michigan Earl won a gold, silver, and bronze medal. But it is not just awards and medals that he has earned that are accomplishments. About two years ago Earl started assistant coaching in Tae Kwon Do classes. He loves helping and teaching others in class, and everyone loves him. Philip Scholten, a student of his said, “John is a great role model and teacher. I look up to him.” From age six to age sixteen, Earl has trained hard, accomplished much, and inspired many.

Now Earl looks forward to the future. He has considered a couple of different colleges that have club Tae Kwon Do teams. He does not know exactly what he wants to do right now, but he is keeping his options open. He has recently picked up playing guitar and likes to practice that in his free time from training. He still hopes to earn his third degree blackbelt before graduating high school, and would love to continue coaching and teaching others. He said, “Tae Kwon Do has really taught me a lot. I have gained a lot of patience and positive attitude where I do not think I would have without it in my life.”
For a chance to compete with John Earl at State Games of America 2017, check out Tae Kwon Do.


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