Taekwondo "A new beginning"
by Lee Thurston
Taekwondo - A new beginning.
Hi. I am Lee. I am 44 yrs of age, and have decided to take up taekwondo after seeing both my daughters enjoy and advance in this interesting martial art.
I should say I have did karate in the past erm about 25 – 26 yrs ago!
Firstly I should say I expect it to involve much hard work , a fair bit of pain and a lot of patience for many reasons.
Not least the fact I am around 20 stones (127kg) in weight and very unfit since giving up as a player manager of a local football team.
And to make it a little harder for myself I am also at this point a smoker.
I realize that for health reasons I need to improve my eating habits and stop the smoking to aid a healthier lifestyle. This is where I hope taking up taekwondo comes in. I hope that through dedicating myself to training and advancement in my gradings I will replace my bad habits with far better mental and physical habits giving me a much richer and fuller life..
Well I did it! I joined my daughters dojang and took my 1st steps. It started with the usual warming up of the muscles, and believe me I found that hard!
But worse was to come when I started doing more vigorous stretching exercises - what a killer those were! 'But no pain no gain' so they say. And this was just the first 20 – 30 minutes. There was still an hour or so to go!
We were then shown how to do our first basics in blocking, kicking and punching. The we I keep mentioning is the other new beginner in the class, a young lad of about 10, don’t I feel like the old man? Ha Ha!
I then was expecting us to go through a warm down process at that point - was I wrong on that score? we were then told we were going to be taught probably the first 6 or 7 moves of the 17 in the first pattern.
We both found it difficult at first, making one or two expected errors but slowly we started remembering when to block, when to kick or punch etc as we started to put together the full 17 moves involved.
I can tell you I had a beaming smile when at the end of trying the pattern without any prompting and getting it correct. Although it was not done as precise and crisp as should be, the black belt instructing us gave us great feedback and congratulated us on performing it so well on first attempt.
I felt like the 10 yr old I was training with and looking round for my mum for that additional pat on the back for being a clever boy. That sounds like I'm a bit sad - but tough get over it, I might be 44 but like all men still a big kid at heart!
Shock horror, Anne, the black belt, then had us warm down for 20 minutes, stretching and shaking our muscles out. And believe me, by that time my body was screaming get the hell out of here!
Luckily I ignored what it was saying otherwise I might be in much, much more pain than I am now. You can call me a glutton for punishment, but I can't wait till my next session as this was great fun and a terrific way to spend an evening and hopefully the rest of my adult life.Deb's response:
Hi Lee - this is a wonderful and brave story of your first taekwondo class. I know that all of us will identify with parts of it.
You deserve big congratulations for taking the giant step to getting on the mats. And you sound like you are determined to succeed!
My advice is simple. Take it slowly. Listen to your body and just make one commitment to yourself each time you train...
Just promise yourself that you will turn up to the next class and do your best. Do that and everything else will follow.
I for one am really looking forward to hearing how you get on - keep in touch!
Have any other martial artists out there got advice for Lee? You are welcome to add to the comments below.