Taekwondo isn't something, it's everything.
by Tiago Costa
My name is Tiago and I'm from Portugal. It's been a while since I've posted here, but there's a been quite a lot going on in my life and I've just didn't feel like I had the time to sit down and write.
It takes a lot to live. That's something that I am learning. A lot of courage and of faith in something, something that we don't always know what it is. That's what I feel I'm going through.
It's been 24 years since I was born, 17 years since I've started my school life and 14 years since I was first aware of what a Taekwondo training session felt like.
Well, this summer I graduated from college and I reached taekwondo 1st Dan. All those goals I set for me were achieved. And now what?
The country is in big recession, there's no employment, there's hardly any real hope for things to get better. I look at myself and feel old, as if my life is over and that is the scariest thing I can think of. And when I feel like it was all in vain, and there's a lot of "why are we here-s","what is the purpose of all this if everything seems wrong-s" it's when I come to a stall in life that everything seems to be falling a apart. But then we try all we can to hang on to the tiniest spark of hope, we give everything in the dojang, no limits and no regrets, we battle through many
sleepless nights and nocturnal panics, we fight the thoughts of hopelessness and then it happens.
Taekwondo gives us a straight answer. A chance came for me to teach Taekwondo to children. It was the chance I hoped for, but then I realized that all the suffering and doubt I endured and overcame was Taekwondo. I was living it, I was enduring in my daily life mental hardships at the same level of the physical hardships of the toughest training sessions.
I know it sounds like a cliche but Taekwondo really is everything. It is the Korean Karate that was compressed into this marvelous martial art after WW2, it is an Olympic sport, it is that thing you do in tournaments, in the dojang or when you decided to practice on your own in some hidden place. It is the line not that you follow, but that pulls you through life. Taekwondo is everything that it is, but its way more than that, and everything should realize it. Taekwondo didn't save my life, but it gave it back to me and it will certainly dictate what I do with it.
Now, I'm still 24, freshly graduated out of college and 1st Dan in Taekwondo. I'm a guitar teacher and a Taekwondo instructor. MY life begins now!
PS: I apologize to the people that are in picture with me, but I don't have any "solo" picture as 1st Dan.Deb's Reply
Congratulations Tiago on reaching 1st Dan. I hope you enjoy your teaching and I wish you every success for the future.