The Fort Bend Herald honored the Taekwondo School again with a wonderful article in its Pecan Grove Magazine. The article featured Fort Bend Martial Arts owner and instructor Master Daniel Elkowitz. Written by Ms. Elisabeth Morales, the article touches on his early years in Taekwondo and his journey to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team. The article also appeared in the Fort Bend Herald Newspaper. Master Daniel greatly appreciates the support he and the Taekwondo School have received from the Fort Bend Herald and especially the community. It has been a wonderful relationship between the school and the community since the Taekwondo School opened in the summer of 2010.
Written by Elizabeth Morales
Daniel Elkowitz, also known as Master Daniel or Coach Daniel, instructs 150 students on how to discipline themselves and be a good person in society through taekwondo.
The owner and instructor of Fort Bend Martial Arts Academy in Pecan Grove, Daniel, who is 27, is excited about his class tonight. He will be presenting awards to a specific group of students.
Daniel will award trophies to students with advancing belts and give a "Respect Award," "Who Made the Most Improvements Award," and "Team Captain Award."
Testing his students every three months, he also presents academic awards to those with "All A's," "A/B Honor Roll," and "Good Conduct."
Daniel involvement with sports began when he was a 5-year-old kid in the area. Although he was involved with all sports, he was primarily interested in American sports such as baseball and football because of their competitive spirit. But his dad encouraged him that a competitive side existed in taekwondo, as well.
He said that it wasn't until he switched from traditional taekwondo classes to competitive classes that he experienced his calling.
Continuing the sport throughout his life, Daniel began to travel and compete at the local, national and eventually, the international level.
While competing in taekwondo, he traveled to China, Korea, Germany, the Dominican Republic, Canada, Singapore, Turkey, England and throughout the United States.
In 2003, at the age of 19, he won gold medals in the prestigious World University Games in Korea, sparring head-to-head with a competitor from Turkey.
At the age of 24, he was invited to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
He joined the U.S. Olympic taekwondo team as a training partner, helping the two male and female athletes.
It was a chance of a lifetime for Daniel, who trained and constantly motivated the athletes.
"It was pretty cool when I got to meet all the basketball players like Kobe Bryant," said Daniel, referring to his Olypmic experience. He said he enjoyed being inside the custom-built "Bird's Nest" stadium for the 2008 Olympics.
Daniel explained the levels of belts for his students, describing a 4-year-long process with a curriculum. A student in his classes can advance from:
• white belt
• yellow belt
• orange belt
• green belt
• senior green belt
• blue belt
• senior blue belt
• red belt
• senior red belt
• brown belt
• senior brown belt
• black belt
It may seem like a long process, but it takes tremendous dedication to earn a black belt, Daniel said.
"It isn't long enough. I've been doing this for 23 years, and I learn stuff all the time," he said.
Daniel opened the academy in June 2010. He teaches students in his taekwondo classes the art of self defense, and emphasizes the importance of discipline, respect, confidence and character.
Concerned with youth being brainwashed by technology, he encouraged participation in sports. And Daniel notes that it doesn't have to be a traditional American sport.
Refreshing his knowledge of taekwondo and developing his skills, Daniel attends seminars with other instructors, and to him, it's an education that will never end.