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Lewis garners eighth-degree taekwondo blackbelt in Seoul

COURTESY PHOTO: MIKE CARLSON - James Wade Lewis, right, earned his eighth-degree black belt on Monday, April 11, at the Taekwondo World Headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. Kukkiwon president Jeong Mansoon, left, presided over the ceremony.Grandmaster James Wade Lewis earned his eighth-degree black belt on Monday, April 11, at the Taekwondo World Headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.

Lewis, Oregon’s highest-ranking Kukkiwon blackbelt, kicked off his career in training with the Korean military as a United States Marine in 1968.

He became a black belt in his service at Fort Bragg, N.C., in 1977, launched Lewis Taekwondo in St. Helens in 1978 and is prominent in Scappoose High School’s varsity letter program.

Lewis received A-1 certification in 1999 and became a senior master instructor and a level two coach in 2002. He achieved a level one coaching rank at nationals in Atlanta in 2006, and became a Junior Olympics coach in San Jose, Calif., in 2007.

He won gold in sparring and poomse in the USA Taekwondo U.S. Open in New Orleans, received his seventh-degree black belt and was named to the USA Taekwondo Martial Arts Advisory Council in 2008.

Lewis Taekwondo has trained Oregon State University, Washington State University and national champions in sparring, poomse (a sequence of martial techniques performed with or without the use of a weapon) and summer olympic qualifiers.