Elizabeth Schwettman

Hello, my name is Elizabeth Schwettman, but I go by Betsy. I hope this short bio will help you to know your instructor a little better.

I never saw myself as a martial artist, much less ever becoming a black belt. I had never physically fought anyone, or really had to defend myself. I never considered myself tough enough to study martial arts. But, when I saw the excitement my four year old daughter had about her taekwondo classes, I knew I had to be a part of her martial arts journey. What I didn’t expect was that I wasn’t just following her training – I was creating my own journey as well.

When my 4 year old daughter began martial arts, I sat and watched a few classes. Then, my husband and I decided it was better to participate than to sit and watch – I had to be there anyway, I may as well make the most of my time. I found that I really liked it. Taekwondo reminded me a lot of the same moves and flexibility that I had mastered in high school, when I was captain of a few different dance and drill teams. Memorizing forms was just like memorizing a dance routine. The flexibility that I needed for kicks returned to my body; even after years of not really stretching my legs at all. I discovered that I was a lot tougher than I thought – certainly capable of holding my own in sparring situations.

As I was progressing through my kup belts in martial arts, I remember Grand Master Rankin asking me if I was planning to make it to black belt. I gave him an honest answer, “Right now in my life, I can only really think about achieving the next belt, after that – I don’t know”. I am proud to say that I earned my black belt in June of 2021 – even the pandemic couldn’t stop me!

One of the things that I like most about being a black belt is being an instructor. I have been a Spanish and an English as a Second Language teacher for the past 16 years. I have the knowledge and skills to teach almost any kind of student. I recognize different learning styles and can adapt how I teach to each individual student. I am fluent in Spanish, so I can even teach in Spanish if that’s what is needed!

I enjoy practicing martial arts with my family. I love the fact that my husband, daughter and I are all passionate about the same thing. We encourage each other during training, celebrate our successes and help each other grow as marital artists. Together, we have created a school that will hopefully become a cornerstone of Gilpin County culture.


Mrs. Schwettman holds the rank of 1st degree Black Belt in Tang Soo Do Taekwondo from the Mountain Academy of Martial Arts. She is also a high-school teacher with Master’s Degree and many additional certifications.

  • March 2017: Began training under Master Imy Rich and Master Jim Beasley at the Clear Creek – Gilpin Academy of Martial Arts.
  • October 2017 – Present: Local tournament competitor. Many time medalist in traditional forms, weapons, and breaking divisions.
  • February 2019: Completed five week seminar on breaking technique and power generation at Evolution Martial Arts. John Miller, instructor.
  • February 2019: Attended Team USA Colorado State Taekwondo Championships in Monument, Colorado.
  • June 2019: Completed six week seminar on traditional weapons technique at Evolution Martial Arts. John Miller, instructor.
  • mid-2019: Completed Filipino Martial Arts seminar at Evolution Martial Arts.  Dominick Blum, instructor.
  • July 20, 2019: Completed Grandmasters Seminar at Parker Academy of Martial Arts, Parker, Colorado. Focus areas:
    • Hapkido from Grandmaster John Rankin.
    • Bill Wallace Superfoot Technique by Grandmaster Chris Natzke.
    • Bunkai (applications) from Grandmaster David Sgro.
  • May 2020 – Present: Began training in World Taekwondo Sparring Technique with Alex Wong, many time AAU and USAT Sparring Champion.
  • June 2021: Earned Black Belt in Tang Soo Do Taekwondo from the Mountain Academy of Martial Arts.
  • August 2022: Attended Moo Duk Kwan University Summer Camp in Midway, Utah. Camp led by Grandmaster (Kwan Jang Nim) H.C. Hwang, president of the World Moo Duk Kwan Association and son of Moo Duk Kwan Founder Hwang Kee.

      Elizabeth’s Black Belt Paper: Female Influences in Martial Arts