Tonight was our last colour belt class and I’m struggling to get my mind around how we got here. It really does feel like yesterday, when Sofia celebrated her 6th birthday at the dojang with her friends and I was standing in the entrance with a 4 year old Chiara wrapped around my legs not about to budge.
Robert and Sofia blazed the trail for Chiara and I, and a lot of mental, physical and emotional growth took place for all of us over the last six years. Before you know it, and in the company of family and friends we were off to yellow stripe……
….and the motivational yellow belt…..
….the determined green stripe….
…emerging into the green belt….
….and the pride of the blue stripe…
…and no looking back after blue….
…here comes danger, in the power of the red stripe…
…and the strong warrior red…
…all the way to the awe inspiring black stripe!
Awe inspiring indeed, after trials and tribulations, tears and laughter we made it this far together and we are ready to kick it into BLACK!
I have only been doing Taekwon-Do for the last 6 years and upon reflecting I realize that despite this I have had several grand masters inspire me throughout my life.
I recently said good-bye to one of my most influential grand masters who embodied the 5 tenets of Taekwon-Do before I ever knew what they were. Although, she never practiced martial arts herself, she modeled the essence of what we aspire to in our training.
Courtesy – she taught me what it meant to be considerate of others in thoughts words and actions Integrity – she taught me that honesty and humility align us with our personal integrity Perseverance – she showed me what true perseverance was by finding the courage to try things she had never done and use mistakes as feedback to do even better Self-control – she taught me the importance of finding a safe space to deal with tough situations and to breathe, really BREATHE Indomitable spirit – even faced with life’s greatest hardships and cruelest of circumstances she pushed through and thrived, leaving a legacy of love and devotion.
To all the grand masters out there, whether you are martial artists or not, a sincere thank you.
Last week, at the Dojang, we were doing twenty second reps: Speed sparring, sprints, push-ups, planks and sit-ups and the best one of all was NOODLE WARS! We each took one noodle and one hand shield. The first round we had to hook arms with a partner and attack other teams. The second round it was black belts against colored belts. The last round, it was kids against parents! We screamed at the top of our lungs and we attacked them as hard as we could! I have to say, that was probably one of the most fun times I had at Taekwon-Do! And anyway, when else do you get to attack your parents with a noodle? I guess at a pool party too but lets stick with the Taekwon-Do subject.
Don’t think of Taekwon-Do as just an after school activity.The things I’ve been taught there actually helped me in life. For example, self defence techniques have come in handy for me. Last week after school when I was walking to my bus to get home, the sidewalk was very icy. I was trying to go quick because it was cold. As I was walking I slipped and fell, but I didn’t get hurt because I did a break-fall. No scratches or bruises!
A break-fall is how you protect your head and back from getting hurt when someone pushes you or you’re about to fall. I’ve used it and it actually works! 🙂
Another example is when someone was trying to drag me to a place I did not want to go. I was able to break out of their grip and get free by using a wrist grab defence technique. It was not a serious situation but at least I could protect myself.
Taekwon-Do is a martial art that helped me build my confidence, make new friends and also helped me prevent getting hurt. I look forward to practicing and learning more self defence techniques.