Carmel Valley youth earns Black Belt in record time


By Gloria Limas An

Carmel Valley resident Simon Scott earned his black belt at the Golden Dragon Chinese Kung Fu and Culture Institute this summer.

At 10 years of age he is one of the youngest black belt recipients in the school’s history. The black belt test is administered solely two times per year, towards the end of summer and at the end of year. Nine belt levels have to be mastered to be able to test for the black belt. An average of 72 hours is spent in training for each belt level. So far this year there have been a total of three black belt titles awarded. At the end of last year, there were five.

EnZhen Tang is the principal at the Golden Dragon Chinese Kung Fu School in Sorrento Valley. She says the program offered has a base foundation and three pillars.

“We first and foremost teach our students respect. Next is self-motivation, then discipline and finally confidence. This model allows for students to have both a strong body and a strong mind throughout life.”

Simon’s mother, Kim Lim, is very proud of her son. She says he has been training very hard for the opportunity to earn a black belt.

“Simon has worked hard for this honor,” Lim said. “His years of perseverance and discipline were demonstrated with the grace and ease of his forms. He has truly embraced his culture and has been a leader and example for other students. We are so proud of him!”

The kung fu program includes yearly competitions outside of San Diego where students are able to showcase their talent. They are held at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of California at Los Angeles. Some of the local instructors from the San Diego kung fu school travel to serve as judges for the events.

The school offers programs which are open to all children and adults who are interested in learning about the Chinese culture. There is also an after-school program that averages 100 students per academic year. The areas of study include martial arts, as well as mathematics, public speaking, art, dance, music and much more. The school recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in March.

More information on the Golden Dragon Chinese Kung Fu and Culture Institute can be found at