POI: Hi-YA! Eric Earns 3rd Degree Black Belt


What does Eric Stout, Global Connections Operations Manager, do to relieve a little stress? Taekwondo!

He started November 2004 with his daughter, Taylor, now 13 years old. On November 19, 2013 he tested and earned his third degree Black Belt, with his Black Belt Presentation held on December 14, 2013.

To earn this prestigious belt he was tested on his knowledge of Taekwondo. It started with a written two page essay on patience and wisdom, before he was physically tested on the forms he’s learned over the years of 12 belt stages.

He had to spar for three, one-minute rounds before board breaking. He successfully completed a station break where he performed a sliding hook kick, sliding side kick to a tornado round speed break, and a power break where he chose a step behind side kick breaking four boards. After completing the test, Eric was able to break three slabs, one for each Black Belt level earned.

While Eric no longer competes in tournaments, he continues to practice the sport twice a week at Pruter’s Sport Taekwondo in Lee’s Summit, Missouri with his children. Daughter, Jordan, and son, Lucas, joined Taekwondo in 2010. Taylor is a recommended third degree Black Belt (she can’t test higher until she’s 16), Jordan is a Red Belt and Lucas is a Brown Belt.

Besides having fun and enjoying teaching the occasional class, Eric really likes that he can connect and spend quality time with his kids while they build physical and emotional strength.

“The instructor, Mrs. Pruter, is awesome. She keeps up on how the kids are doing in school. Particularly for my daughters, I like that they have such a strong woman role model,” says Eric. “The cross training has really helped Taylor in other sports like volleyball, and she has a level of confidence girls her age don’t usually have. I’d recommend Taekwondo to anyone.”

For Eric, his years of practice at the art of Taekwondo have helped him at Global Connections and on the volleyball court, where he coaches the 14 Force Under Armor Elite volleyball club.