By Grady Michael Gaynor
Richie Scott, a 15-year-old sophomore at Franklin Community High School, has shown that lessons learned in a martial arts gym extend beyond kicking and punching. A third-degree black belt, Scott has learned Songahm Taekwondo at Pilsung ATA Martial Arts under the instruction of owners, Masters Rose and Brian Myers since he was 8 years old.
The purpose of taekwondo is a holistic approach to self-betterment. While self-defense is central to a student’s experience, development of character and leadership are equally vital to a student’s path toward excellence. In the eyes of his instructor Rose, Scott exemplifies this balance. For that reason, Rose nominated Scott for Regional Junior Black Belt of the Year.
Her feelings toward her student were confirmed when Scott not only won regionals this April but went on to win International Junior Black Belt of the Year in an awards ceremony in July held in Phoenix.
Scott, who is also an instructor at Pilsung, was nominated and emerged internationally victorious not only due to his skills and hard work in taekwondo; he is also eagerly involved in his school and community. The Franklin Community baseball and basketball player explained, “I love helping others and giving back when I can. I raised $2,100 to help purchase three vests for the City of Franklin K-9 Unit. I collected and donated toys to Riley Children’s Hospital. I helped distribute food with Franklin Community School Corporation during covid while the schools were shut down. I’ve also raised money for the Special Olympics.”
With winning this international award already under his “belt”, Scott has not grown content with his community service. This October Rose, Scott and the students of Pilsung ATA are raising money partnering with “Wishing for Mommy” during their annual Pink Belt Revolution for Breast Cancer Awareness. Students donated money to purchase pink belts to wear during training sessions for the month of October. The proceeds are used to give $500 grants to women battling breast cancer.
Regarding her star pupil, Myers said, “Richie Scott exemplifies the heart of our Pilsung Leaders; they work hard to make a positive difference in the world around them. I could not be more proud of him, though I’m certain he’ll give me more awesome reasons to disprove that statement!”