Taekwondo Gives Me Great Opportunities
by Joanna Janse van Vuuren, 2nd Dan
(Vo’s 2 Taekwondo School, Rottingdean, Brighton, UK.)
Sunset Taekwondo Sidekick
I had always wanted to do a martial art since I was younger due the influence the media had on me (Power Rangers, and then Buffy the Vampire Slayer as I grew older).
It was not until I was 15 that I started Taekwondo when me and my sister saw a poster advertising a new school that was opening just around the corner from my house!
The poster was for a Taekwondo school;–“Tai-kwond-what?” we said!
We were not sure what it was about let alone pronounce it, but the poster showed that it had a female instructor. This was already a big hit for me and my sister. All previous martial art schools and demos we had seen were with large men grunting around and smashing bricks.
Maybe this martial art was different?
We joined and I have never looked back since. Taekwondo presented so many opportunities for me. It helped me with so many aspects of my life that continues on outside of training.
My fitness improved exponentially (which later helped me overcome illness), and has given me many new skills.
As well as all that you can learn from Taekwondo; discipline, self-defense, knowledge of how to maintain a healthy body, it has given me an opportunity to progress with my academic work and helped me achieve my degree at the University of Brighton (UK), BA (hons) Sport and Leisure Management.
As part of the degree a dissertation was needed and mine was entitled ‘An Investigation Into WTF Taekwondo –Why Women Choose To Fight.’ An investigation like this had never been done before in this area and had shown some interesting results.
As a 2nd Dan I teach on a regular basis. Before I started taekwondo I had really disliked children! I could not get on with them as I did not know how to handle them. TKD has given me the skills and knowledge how to teach almost anyone and I really enjoy it.
I really enjoy learning all the different movements of TKD (my favorite kick is the tornado kick), as well all that comes with the mental and physical discipline.
Taekwondo means a lot to me and continues to grow within me each day.Deb's reply:
Thanks so much Joanna for a great taekwondo story. It's so good to hear about the different ways that martial arts training can transform people's lives.
Your achievements within and outside tkd are fantastic!
Good and luck and let us know how your journey progresses.