Mr. Jason Byrd began his martial arts journey early in 1993 at Mr. and Mrs. Lacy’s Taekwondo school in Roanoke Virginia. Because it was about an hour drive each way for his family he could only make it to class a couple of times a week until he got his drivers license. Little did he realize those weekly trips were the beginning of a career and many life-long friendships.

At the age of 16, Mr. Byrd could not touch his toes, had little interest in athletic endeavors and fell down a lot while trying to do spin crescent kicks. What kept him coming back were the people he met.  On his first day, in addition to the Lacy’s, he met Mr. Perdue,  Mr. Abbott and Mr. Stanley who, according to Mr. Byrd, were the “big cheeses” helping out with the class that day.  His Taekwondo family has continued to grow over the years.  As much as Mr. Byrd has enjoyed kicking a lot of people over the years, it’s the friendships like the ones that started that first day of class that have kept him engaged and training, and inspired him to move from that first White Belt to preparing to earn his 7th Degree Black Belt 25 years later.

According to Mr. Byrd, “I’ve done a lot of classes, testings, camps, demos and tournaments but what I remember the most is the people I’ve connected with.  They have been the real blessing of martial arts training.  My thanks to each of you and to God be the Glory.”

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