Taekwondo has helped me become more patient, demonstrate self control, and show self respect. However, the most important aspect to me is perseverance. I have come to learn that when you stick with something long enough, although there may be obstacles that get in the way (as in feeling tired or not in the mood), it pays off. I feel energized, important, and physically fit... after each class. I come out of my classes with a totally different mindset and physical feeling than when I walked in.

To me taekwondo means a place to be at peace, to focus, and to not worry about anything else in the world. When I first started taekwondo I was always misbehaving in class and getting in trouble, but it all changed. Every day when I went to taekwondo I was relieved of all my stress and I was focused. Taekwondo taught me to show respect and to pay attention, this helped me in school and my grades improved greatly. Taekwondo allowed me to go to a place that is quiet, peaceful, and calm which also makes me calm. Every time I got the next belt, when working my way up to the black belt, I always felt good about myself and I felt like I accomplished something. Also my instructor, Mr. Seo, told me that whenever I do something I have to do it to the best of my ability; this also helped me in school and in my everyday life. Another great thing about taekwondo is when I do the forms, the forms allow my body to work without my brain thinking about the next move. To me taekwondo is not just a sport but a place to be at peace and enjoy life as it is.

From a mother of two children...

When my son expressed an interest in Taekwondo, I signed him up for classes at KLS. Soon after he joined, I began taking classes in the evening...  I developed a stronger appreciation for the forms. I was drawn to the unique combination of strength, precision and grace. The patterns encouraged me to focus on the task at hand, providing my mind with an escape from the stresses of daily life.

  When I received my red stripe I was introduced to my next challenge, board breaking. This next step brought me to a crossroads in my practice. For several weeks, I doubted my strength and my ability to take this step, which was a requirement for my next belt promotion. I questioned if maybe this was the end of my Taekwondo journey. One day I realized that I would never break that board unless I got rid of all of those preconceived notions that I had created, of what I could and could not do. When I finally did break a board, I realized that it was not about physical strength. It was about the strength of my mind. Changing my thoughts from negative to positive provided me with the confidence that was necessary to get through this next step. Breaking that board freed all of my doubt. I began to wonder what else I was capable of. That moment made me realize that I can achieve anything that I want to in my life. Reaching my goals and confronting my greatest challenges require the same skills as breaking a board: commitment, dedication, patience and confidence.

What Taekwondo Means to Me

 Yay! It’s time for an exciting day at Taekwondo! It’s the place where I meet new friends. Taekwondo has made me stronger and more disciplined. I go to Taekwondo whether I have had a good or bad day. Taekwondo means the world to me.

  Man! It’s my first day of class and I already have made many new friends. When I first joined, everybody was friendly. If I had trouble with anything, everyone was there to help. Also, when another person joins, everyone is there to help, including me. I cant’ wait to see if I have improved during the next class.

  Hutt! Taekwondo is making me stronger and more focused. It is making me so strong,

 I can even break a board with my fist! Along with increased strength, I am more disciplined and focused. Mr. Seo, my Taekwondo instructor sets the example as to how to behave. I can’t wait until my next class.

  Ahh! What a crazy day I have had. Taekwondo class is just what I need. Warm up, some forms and combinations and my day is so much better. Is the class over already? 

  Wow! My black belt test is approaching. I have been earning my belts, practiced my forms and combinations, learned sparring, and studied the Korean language. Taekwondo is not just an extra curricular activity, it is an influential part of my life. As I continue on my journey, Taekwondo will always be a part of me.

Taekwondo means a lot to me. To me taekwondo means to be serious in everything that you do. Taekwondo has affected my life in many ways; it has helped me become stronger, helped me with my soccer skills and it also has helped me with my speed in track. My kicks are much stronger because of it. Also, taekwondo has helped with my muscles as well. As a freshman playing varsity soccer it's much different than playing against your own grade because I'm playing against seniors, juniors and sophomores. I'm very small compared to the rest of the people I play against and since I do taekwondo I was able to be strong and stand up against them while playing. I enjoy taekwondo because it is a sport and you can exercise too. It also helps me to stay focused and concentrate on what I need to do in and out of school.

My teacher, Mr. Seo, is very serious but is always having some type of fun. He encourages me to try hard, never give up and focus on what I need to do to get myself out of a bad situation. I enjoy hearing about Mr. Seo's life in Korea because I find it interesting to learn about different cultures and lifestyles.


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