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Mass. woman with no arms gets black belt

Sheila Radziewicz of Salem used her nunchucks during taekwondo class at Bruce McCorry's Martial Arts Studio in Peabody. (AP Photo/Salem News, Mark Lorenz) Sheila Radziewicz of Salem used her nunchucks during taekwondo class at Bruce McCorry's Martial Arts Studio in Peabody. (AP Photo/Salem News, Mark Lorenz)
June 21, 2010

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PEABODY, Mass.—A Massachusetts woman who was born without arms or kneecaps has passed her test for a black belt in taekwondo.

Sheila Radziewicz successfully completed earlier this month a black belt test at Bruce McCorry's Martial Arts in Peabody.

The 32-year-old Salem resident, who was born with thrombocytopenia-absent radius, or TAR syndrome, called the test the "longest, most excruciating" workout of her life.

The test required her to break wood, execute combinations of kicks and punches, spar, and show mastery of the long staff and nunchucks.

Radziewicz, an advocate for victims of domestic violence, said she has never let her disability stop her. At 23, Radziewicz earned her driver's license. She uses a car that she controls with her feet.

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Information from: The Salem News http://www.salemnews.com/