The Change Taekwondo Made In My Life

by Sevastian Campos
(Carlsbad, NM, USA)

That's me in blue

That's me in blue

Hello, my name is Sevastian. I am here to tell you my taekwondo story.

I joined TKD back in 2005 when I was in the 7th grade. My cousins ran the local dojang here and it looked pretty fun to try out. So I went by and tried it...and I loved it. I loved the kicks. I loved the forms. The sparring...not so much, but I have become much better at it. :) I even occasionally kick when I spar now!

Unfortunately, in early 2007 I got out of TKD due to financial problems. Thankfully, in 2008 I joined back up again and I am glad I did. I was surprised to see that I could still do my kicks decently and after a crash course through poomse I remembered all my forms again. I even taught myself taegeuks 6-8. (Thank you YouTube!)

My sparring has improved greatly, though I mostly run around the ring, much to the agitation of my opponent and Master both. :) Since joining again I have moved up 6 belts, from orange w/ stripe to blue. I have learned some new kicks, like crescent kick and swing hook kick. I don't particularly like them but I can do them decently.

Unfortunately, lately I have been in a rut that I am barely beginning to get out of. A few months ago I became filled with jealousy because of another student. He joined much later than I did and yet he has already become much better than I am. What took me years to learn only took him months. I felt cheated, useless, and pathetic. I felt like a failure because it took me so long to learn what he learned in months. This severely hindered my progress and my confidence in myself has decreased dramatically.

My Master and Senior Instructor noticed and they tried to help me feel better. But their efforts were in vain. This site has helped me though. Just from browsing around here and reading I have realized that TKD is not about learning faster than others. Or being better than others. But is about becoming a better you. I have improved greatly in TKD since I have rejoined and that is all that matters.

I have become better than I was before and although there will always be other people that are better than me or learn faster than me I will always know one thing...I have improved myself in TKD.

Self improvement is always more important than the improvement of others and one should never compare themselves to others because if you do, you will not always be happy with the comparison. Just be happy with the way that you are and know that as long as you have personally improved from something you are never EVER going to be pathetic.

This is what I have learned from my Taekwondo journey...

Deb's Reply

Wow! Wow! Wow! This is a brilliant story Sevastian.

Firstly because you have been honest about your feelings. This is a brave but incredibly positive thing to do. I absolutely know that many, many people out there will be able to relate to your struggle because they have felt similar feelings to you (I know I have).

And secondly you have found a way through and past your difficulties. In martial arts (and life) the toughest battle you face is with yourself. You have battled with yourself and come through it. You have realized what the taekwondo journey is all about(self-improvement) and now you can relax and enjoy your journey.

Well done! You have achieved great things and if you keep going more good is coming.

Deb :-)

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Jul 16, 2012
Thanks! :)
by: Anonymous

Hey Sevastian! Thank you so much for this story. I have been training in taekwondo for 5 years. Right now, I am going through the same struggle of seeing my friend/new classmate outwit me in each sparring match. My legs have been badly bruised from the last match, and I have been dreading going to the next taekwondo class and sparring with him because I felt that I'd end up getting more bruises and probably a serious injury. But reading your story made me realize that I should be competing against myself, striving to improve the weaknesses in my techniques, polishing my strengths and celebrating my improvements (stamina and flexibility), and I shouldn't let my jealousy taint my friendship with the new classmate. I shall keep your story and its lesson in mind in my future taekwondo lessons.

Dec 08, 2011
by: kdm

Its a great story! Well my life was spent in training tkd and also sotpped because of financial problems. Well I still train now even though I have not went to any dojang. Its the passion that keeps me on tkd. The only thing I hate about tkd is that masters train others tkd because of the money.
I wish that someone would teach tkd for tkd's sake. Well! that would be impossible to happen. XD
God bless you all!

Feb 28, 2011
Inspired me:)
by: Naveen

Simply superb:)

U have inspired me and i joined TKD 2 months ago and i was comparing with others. Thanks for helping me out

Aug 07, 2010
Good Job!
by: George

Good job Sevastian! I'm happy that you learnt that Taekwondo isn't about learning the quickest. Good luck on your journey!

May 16, 2010
by: Anonymous

Great story Sevastian! You have inspired me and many others, I'm sure. Its all about the personal journey - thanks for reminding us what really matters when you walk through the dojang door.

May 03, 2010
Way to go!
by: Tiago

Hi Sevastian.

First of all I congratulate you on your discovery. That is definitely the way to go. I started Taekwondo when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, so I felt a lot of that, especially because I was a bit overweight. Things get messy when you "choose" yourself a rival. But like you said Taekwondo is about becoming a better you, and that was something that this site also helped me find out (thanks :D). Just give it your best shot because you are on the right path.

Peace be within your warrior soul.


May 03, 2010
Setting personal goals
by: David Fiscus


The competitive nature of humans sometimes makes us lose sight of more important things in life. I am closing in on 54 years, have type 2 diabetes, and need to lose 100 pounds. I am 20 to 30 years older than most people in my school, so I am not physically able to do things as well as many of my classmates. I am glad to see that you were able to find inner peace from looking at this website. In my situation, I compete against myself, looking for improvements in my techniques, my endurance, a little weight loss or just being able to stretch a little further than I could a month ago. I have found that by setting personal goals, and working to achieve them, I gain tremendous satisfaction. By competeing with myself, I find myself winning often enough to keep improving.

Thanks for taking time to tell us your story,


May 02, 2010
Fantastic Story
by: Neil

Hi Sevastian

Thanks for sharing such a fantastic story with us. You will help many people facing similar battles.

Thanks again


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