We started Taekwondo at the age of 5 in 2010 when bullying was a big issue. Our parents wanted to find a way to have us defend ourselves in case we needed to. We visited many Taekwondo schools before realizing this was the one we wanted to go to. We didn’t know what to expect. Thanks to Ms. Shim’s patience and ability to explain certain moves to two five year olds, we immediately loved the environment and we knew that we wanted to continue.
Even though we enjoy being a part of the taekwondo family, our experience hasn’t been a piece of cake. There were many downfalls along the way. It wasn’t as easy to progress to the next belt as we thought it would be. To get our belt we had to work hard at our technique and practice our forms and sparring. There were a handful of times in our progression where we couldn’t test for our next belt, and we were always disappointed to hear the news. However, the instructors and peers we met along the way encouraged us to keep on trying, and we were able to persevere because of them.
When we first started at the school, we were nervous and scared that we weren’t going to thrive or make any friends. We were two of the few girls that attended and we were scared that we weren’t going to be able to have the same experience that the boys would have. However, that completely changed when we realized that the students were welcoming and we ended up making friends which we are still close to today. Now, so many more girls have joined and we feel like we have started a trend of going against the status quo of who is able to do taekwondo. The school is like a second home because the friends and instructors we have met here have been kind, generous and light-hearted.
Taekwondo has given us skills that we can use throughout our life. It has physically taught us how to become more active and flexible. At the same time, we have learned self-control and how to defend ourselves. But the skill that has affected us the most is self confidence. From this experience, we developed skills of demonstrating in front of a crowd and we learned to be open to new ideas. These skills are very helpful in school and will be even more helpful for life after school. Taekwondo has brought us closer together as sisters. We are able to challenge and learn from each other in ways that others couldn’t. Sharing this activity has gotten us closer because we are able to practice and support each other throughout the different stages.
Throughout this vigorous, exciting, and successful journey, we have seen endless amounts of effort and progress. We couldn’t have gone through this journey without our instructors. They have been kind, patient and helpful. They have taught us how to defend ourselves, how to be more confident (throughout all of life’s obstacles), and many more important qualities that we possess today. The instructors and other students work well with each other which inspires us to be just like them. We constantly see a welcoming committee for the nervous new students. After being with this school for almost 10 years, we are lucky to have the teachers, mentors and other students as our taekwondo family. We are very excited to continue as taekwondo students and hope to have a long journey ahead of us.