Retired school teacher earns 1st degree black belt

Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 9:52 PM CST
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - It’s said you should “never stop learning because life never stops teaching.”

On Tuesday, at Marshall’s Academy Taekwondo, in Sioux City, a retired elementary teacher earned her 1st-degree black belt.

Maria Williams, who is 70 years young, first started taekwondo when she was 64 years old. When Williams first started, she had just retired from her job as an elementary school teacher and wanted to find something to keep her active.

A lot of time and effort goes into earning a black belt. A person has to meet different requirements, and then test to pass onto the next belt.

After 6 years of hard work and determination, Williams earned her black belt Tuesday.

“I had been looking for a new challenge physically and mentally and fell in love with it,” said Williams. “From the beginning, Mr. Potash would say ‘you could be a black belt some day’ and I always thought it would be funny, but I fell in love with it.”

Williams was also awarded the ‘Jacob Bennett’ award for most outstanding student and mentor over the last testing period.

In giving the award, her instructors continuously shared that she is ‘hard-working, determined, and continues to be a role model’.

“I have the best instructors you could possibly have. I’m so grateful. And its a family and that’s the thing that Mr. Marshal and Mr. Potash have always always emphasized. This is a family. Everyone watches out for everybody,” said Williams.

When we asked what she would say to someone if they felt they were “too old” to start taekwondo, Williams said, “you can do anything at any age, it’s all mental.”

Even with her black belt, Williams is passionate to continue taekwondo.