Grandmaster Jerry Kidd

Grandmaster Jerry Kidd, master instructor of J. Kidd Martial Arts America who has been teaching taekwondo to adults and children through the North Riverside department of Parks & recreation for 16 years, has earned the ultimate honor of ninth degree blackbelt from the World Taekwondo Council. 

Kidd, 70, of Chicago tested and achieved the high honor during Illinois-Chicago’s Taekwondo Day Poomsae Seminar hosted by The United States National Taekwondo Federation at The Centre at North Park in Franklin Park on July 31.

Two former American National Champions, Kidd and Robert Nicholls of Port Angeles, Washington, were successful at becoming the first Americans to achieve ninth degree blackbelt status and were awarded a special red jacket only worn by USNTF’s President Kwan Duk Gun, and now, Kidd and Nicholls. 

The honor also makes Kidd the first African American to achieve ninth degree black belt in the country. Kidd was previously promoted to eighth degree Kukkiwon in June 2014 by the Korean Taekwondo Headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. Kidd is the only American to hold both the highest honor in Kukkiwon and World Taekwondo Federation.