9-year-old teaches Taekwondo in Bethesda

It is an art form hundreds of years old.

It started in Korea, then was made famous in America in our backyard.

On Wednesday night, the form of martial arts called Taekwondo has a new favorite son.

One Bethesda studio is built on three things: Discipline, respect and drive.

And now, there’s one more.

Dylan Oliver is only in the fourth grade, but in the studio, he’s an expert.

He just started teaching other students at Coles Martial Arts Academy. Sometimes, they are much older.

“We’re told to practice everyday, said Dylan. “And I usually help my mom for maybe 30 minutes.”

That’s right, mom.

She’s a red belt, a couple levels behind her son.

“By the time you’re a black belt you’re supposed to be setting an example for all the other students in the studio and I think he takes that very seriously,” said Dylan’s mom, Melissa Marquez.

Most students don’t become black belts until they’re in their teens. Teaching others is the only way Dylan can advance his training.

Michael Cole is the master here. He’s an eighth degree black belt taught by “The Father of American Taekwondo:”
Jhoon Rhee.

Master Cole says Dylan may have what it takes to go just as far.

“You need to understand what makes this person tick. You gotta learn how to motivate. And this little guy knows how to do it,” said Master Cole.

“It doesn’t matter how young you are how old you are,” said Dylan. “Never give up. Always believe in yourself.”

© 2017 WUSA-TV

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