My Taekwondo Story - Damn that Dobok!
by Jude Smith
I was 'forced' into taking up taekwondo 4 years ago...
...and thank goodness!
Let me explain...
My son Gus started taekwondo training when he saw a poster at the local leisure/community center. And while he 'kicked ass', I pumped iron and pounded treadmills (alright flailed my arms around and fell off running machines!)
Gus's taekwondo instructor Rachel suggested I join in with a class.
'Oh, well I'd love to but I'm so busy training for this half marathon and lots of other very important things that are so important that I can't actually name one of them. Another time maybe.' was my reply.
Rachel just smiled.
...A few weeks later Gus told me the Sri Lankan army were doing a demonstration and training session for the taekwondo school and Rachel asked if I would like to join the session.
'Uuum ,young men?, training?, army?...oh go on then!'
So loose clothing was donned and cyniscm was firmly fixed, after all its 'not really for me'... all that 'choreography' and 'grunting'.
Two sweaty, exhilerating mind blowing hours later Rachel said.
'So see you on Tuesday and here's your Dobok!'
'Uuuuh right?!' said I.
One month later and Rachel and I are running the Brighton half marathon, supporting two young men with severe learning difficulties (they are also in our tkd school). There is a team spirit and feeling of achievement I had never experienced either in the gyms I had been to or more importantly in life.
We finished the course cold, tired and for my part the happiest I had felt for some time.
This was just the beginning.
Four years later, I'm doing Poomse (not choregraphy) and remembering it! And I don't grunt but use my key-hup.
Taekwondo brings me friendships, a level of fitness and wellbeing I had never had before, purpose, constant challenges, empowerment and humility.
And tomorrow there will be something new...
...so...when I've figured out exactly what Taekwondo means to me I'll let you know...
...when I make it to 10th Dan perhaps! ;-)
Until then thanks Rachel for giving me my first Dobok.Deborah's comment:
Jude this is a great taekwondo tale!
Your story shows how taking up the challenge of tkd can open up your life in so many ways.
Thanks so much for taking the time to write this - I'm sure it will inspire and motivate others.