Two Keys promotes Craddock to black belt

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Two Keys Self Defense, under the leadership of Master Mike Davila, provides a karate program, Tang Soo Do – Moo Duk Kwan. Tang Soo Do is a Korean martial art, which teaches empty hand and foot fighting, fighting forms, self-defense and weapons.

Two Keys Self Defense promoted Ephraim Craddock to black belt. After hard work and dedication, students advance in rank from white belt to black belt, 21 levels determined by three stripes per advanced belt and a six-month black belt residency. The process takes students approximately 4-5 years of consistent attendance and engagement.

Black belt is an elite rank reserved for those who possess the ability to show high proficiency in all techniques and sparring. The black belt candidate test is a grueling three-hour test, including an hour and a half of skills and techniques, followed by a completion of all Tang Soo Do forms and a 3-to-1 person sparring for 16 minutes.

“The black belt test is designed to physically exert the body, to wear the candidate down to exhaustion, then ask the candidate to attack and defend oneself in a progressively challenging sparring environment,” said Master Davila.

Craddock, a sixth-grader at Galvez Middle School in the Talented & Gifted Program, received his first-degree black belt. Since 2013, Craddock has been a student of Two Keys Self Defense, practicing Tang Soo Do, grappling and weapon training.

Craddock has received numerous awards and honors for his academic achievements, including multiple school honor rolls with a 4.0 GPA. As a Galvez Middle band member, playing both trombone and tuba, he participated in the 2017 Zeagler’s Music Honor Band with the trombone. In 2016, Craddock represented Galvez Primary’s Beta Club in the “Book Battle,” placing second in the state competition. He maintains the school’s highest accelerated reader record of 957.7 points for an academic year. He participated in the Louisiana Elementary Math Olympiad, placing 27th out of over 450 fourth and fifth-grade students.

As a member of the BREC Highland Road Park Observatory’s Science Academy, Craddock won the Astronomical League’s national competition, placing first for the 2016 Horkheimer/O’Meara Journalism Award and second in 2017, receiving monetary scholarships for both awards.

In addition to his academic pursuits, Craddock is a member of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 76, serving as patrol leader and attending the 2017 National Jamboree in West Virginia in July. He has appeared in a number of film and television productions, alongside actors Andrew Garfield, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.