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Four Samoan 1st Dan Black Belts to represent Samoa in Pacific Games

01 AUGUST 2023: Four students who received their 1st Dan Black belt at the KLAS Taekwondo Club last Thursday are preparing to represent Samoa in the Pacific Games 2023 in November.

The three males and one female athlete is a significant achievement for KLAS Taekwondo Club. After 4 years, the wait is finally over and the students were put to the test to level up from the red belt to black belt.

KLAS Taekwondo Head Instructor and former Samoa Olympian, Kaino Thomsen-Fuataga proudly conveyed the condition of Taekwondo in Samoa is in good shape and the journey of his students’ preparations for the upcoming Games are going well.

“I was so proud to see our students do their best and throw everything out there, especially for that last test where they had to break boards using different techniques. It is not an easy thing to do. They’re actual boards used for building houses, so they are pretty solid,” Fuataga explained.

“The majority of them have been sitting on Red Belt for 2 – 3 years but they have grown enough as a person, as a martial artist, to be able to get to where they are today.”

During the grading there were different tasks the students were graded on physical fitness, different taekwondo forms, knowledge of the Korean language and finishing off strong with the board breaking.

Kaino likened the board breaking task as breaking through barriers both mental and physical.

KLAS Raymond Eteuati action
KLAS Raymond Eteuati action

17 year old Ryan Eteuati bringing his A Game on the mat, he can surely fly.

Tovale Filipo, the only female athlete, who graduated to the Black Belt expressed the relief after the grading and her eagerness to take the next step forward as she prepares for the Games.

“The grading was nerve wrecking and intimidating, but good. We have learnt and been preparing for this day for 4 years now. It has been our goal from the start when we joined taekwondo. To not only receive the 1st Dan but also to be able compete internationally to represent our country, family and the club.”

It was a full-house at KLAS Taekwondo Dojang  at Matautu-uta, as friends and families of the four students came out to show support for the Belt Grading.

Present during the Belt Grading night was Teuila Eteuati, the parent of one of the youngest athletes graduate, shares about her experience from the night.

“It’s wonderful to see that we’ve now got some black belts and also the development of the sport. We had really good support by the young kids and other belts, these guys are going to be the inspiration for them. So it was really a good occasion.”

KLAS club1
KLAS club1

The four graduates holding their certificates – Tovale Filipo,Taaloga Faasalaina, Ryan Eteuati and Irae Mose together with their Graders Kaino Thomsen (Left) & Fritz Kasimani (Right).

Moving forward, KLAS Taekwondo will be travelling to New Zealand this month to attend the NZ Kukkiwon Cup & 2023 TNZ National at Barfoot & Thompson Stadium on the 19th and 20th August to compete with other clubs overseas across different grades and divisions as part of their preparations for the Pacific Games 2023 and continuous commitment for international exposure.


  1. Taaloga Faasalaina (M)
  2. Irae Mose Simi (M)
  3. Ryan Eteuati (M)
  4. Tovale Filipo (F)


  1. Kaino Thomsen (KLAS Taekwondo Head coach and National Head coach)
  2. Fritz Kasimani (KLAS Taekwondo coach and National coach)