Kicking to success


Krista Fle

Freshman Chloe Klotzman teaches a yellow belt her form. Chloe is an instructor for Taekwondo America and works Tuesdays and Wednesdays after school.

Most teenage jobs include serving someone a drink or handing food through a window, but for freshman Chloe Klotzman, her job consists of teaching children how to kick and punch. 

Chloe is a second degree senior black belt in Taekwondo and spends her free time training for her third degree and instructing younger martial artists. 

“I love watching her teach,” instructor Wil Anderson said. “She’s not usually a loud person, but she’s a very good instructor and can be in charge of a lot of different groups and different aged kids. It’s been really cool to watch her be more confident and louder.” 

After one testing session, a martial artist has to wait two months until the next one. Once they earn their black belt, the wait becomes eight months in between testings, sometimes more due to age. 

“I’ve failed a few times,” Chloe said. “It took me a while to get my blackbelt, though, since I wasn’t of age yet.”

Chloe’s father, Brian Klotzman, started taking Taekwondo classes around six months after his daughter. He is a second degree black belt and is the one who usually drives Chloe to the classes. 

“It’s been a lot of fun, especially on days where there [are] family classes,” Brian said. “Of course, going to tournaments and having a better idea of what she’s going through has been really cool.” 

Chloe was volunteering as an instructor for two years before she started working at Castle Hills Taekwondo America. At 13, she was guaranteed a job. 

“I think it’s been great for her,” Brian said. “She’s learned Taekwondo skills, which [are] useful. She’s also learned leadership skills [from] being one of the instructors. She’s gained a lot of confidence because she’s getting up in front of them and [she has] the effort it takes to make it to the belt that she’s at.”

Recently, Chloe moved up from the teenage class to the adult class, the same one her father takes. She is the youngest one in the class, but outranks a majority of class members in belt rankings. 

“She just has to keep improving,” Anderson said. “She’s the highest rank in our teen class. It’s kind of like being a big fish in a small pond. If she’s going to keep growing as a martial artist, she has to find new challenges. While the adults may not be as high rank as her, they’re bigger, faster and stronger. It allows her to keep challenging herself.”