Taekwondo 2013

For the past year I've become essentially immersed in, obsessed with and addicted to watching Korean films, dramas and romantic comedies. I enjoy the the time spent in getting to know each of the characters as they evolve and develop. I enjoy the wealth of emotion that is displayed. I especially enjoy the historical dramas, the romantic comedies, the dramas based on ancient folk tales, and I love the action films. I love watching the beautifully choreographed sword fights, hand to hand action, kicks, punches..... think Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. Anyway, as a result of way too many hours as a couch potato watching these dramas, I realized that I, too, want to be able to do what these actors can do. On my way home from work one day I noticed there is a Taekwondo Academy one block from where I work. On a whim (though actually pre-meditated!) I went into the office and signed up for my first trial month. I got a uniform, a T-shirt, a schedule, and a list of words to learn in Korean. WHAM! I was given three private lessons to get me started and then WHAM - there I was, a "no belt" beginner amongst awesome multi-colored belted students learning punches, kicks, wood splitting and my first basic form, "Ki-cho poomsay", my first "combo" (high block-kick-punch), a few self-defense moves and doing agonizing warm up exercises involving: jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups, running an obstacle course ..... OY VEY! In the middle of it all I celebrated my 59th birthday! OMG! This week I was tested for my first level, a "white belt", I don't know the results yet but I'm hoping I made it! I've been working hard. There's a lot to learn and it's been confusing, overwhelming but mostly challenging and exciting. Each time I finish a class I just can't believe that I am doing this at my age. Taekwondo has inspired me in so many ways: * I feel physically stronger * I feel mentally more confident * I am challenged and feel good that I can meet the challenges * The community is very supportive, joyful and respectful. * There are people of all ages all learning together (ie: today I tested together with ages 5 and up!) * We achieve our goals step by step, accomplishing one small step at a time at our own pace. I like the philosophies behind each move - and the discipline. There's a lot to be said for this all around. Please enjoy the photos and the videos of my "White Belt Testing" day at Master An's Taekwondo Academy! VIDEOS: KI-CHO POOMSAY; SPARRING: WOOD SPLITTING