Students at Sunlight Martial Arts recently were under the direction of one of the best practitioners of taekwondo in the world.

Grandmaster Brenda Sell is a seventh-degree black belt, and the highest-ranking non-Korean woman in the sport worldwide. Sell visited Sunlight on June 7. It is her fourth time at the martial arts studio in its eight years of operation.

Close to 20 students of all skill levels were gathered for the class. Participants ranged from white belts to a second-degree black belt. Sell’s instruction had something for all of them.

The focus of the class was fairly fundamental, with the catchphrase, “Little things make a bid difference,” often being repeated by the students. Bell spent much of the time focusing on joint angles, weight distribution and balance.

“Our focus is on how to be an excellent technician,” Sell said. “That, and we seek to develop the student as a whole person.”

The demonstration was interspersed with teaching moments by Sell, who has been involved with martial arts since 1970.

Sell emphasized both the power that comes with knowing a martial art, but also the responsibility and ethics that must accompany that power.

Master Bonnie Emery, who is one of the studio’s primary operators, was honored to have Sell return. She also was pleased with the progress the students made.

“We are hoping to renew their enthusiasm for good technique,” she said.

The students also learned a lot. Caitlin Dwyer was planning to test for her third-degree black belt the next day.

“It was very helpful,” she said

Dwyer has been pursuing taekwondo for 11 years, and this was her second seminar learning from Sell.

Odin Sylvia, a green belt two years into his training, attended his first class with Sell.

“I loved it,” he said. “It’s a great way to get your energy out.”

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