Taekwondo is my way of life. I first started way back in 2006 when I was only 12. I am now at the ripe age of 19. Taekwondo World was small back then, only a small space Hills. They are now the biggest Taekwondo Centre in Australia. I remember my first lesson like it was yesterday. It was a Thursday, overcast and windy. The only thing that brightened up that small room was Kim’s great big smile.
I had no idea what to expect. Before I arrived I didn’t even know what Taekwondo was. “Something like Karate or Kung fu? Like in the movies?” I thought to myself. What I also didn’t expect is that Taekwondo would change my life forever.
I don’t know how I would look if I hadn’t started Taekwondo as a sport. I was pudgy when I first started but now I’m lean, strong and fast. Taekwondo has always helped my fitness, through school sporting lessons to Taekwondo club competitions. I didn’t win many at the time but I had an absolute blast none the less. I was never the strongest in my circle of friends, or the tallest but what I lacked in pure muscle I made up in pure fighting skill and flexibility that would leave my friends gob smacked in awe.
Taekwondo has always kept my morale and self-esteem high. Every training day, whether it’s in 40° summer heat or a cold rainy winter’s day I would leave with a spring in my step and my head held high. Each training session would make me grow more confident in myself. Being an older brother also meant I had to look and act the part, always giving an example on how to be the best I could be.
Taekwondo World has always had good sense of community. I could strike up and joke around even with a complete stranger during training. The masters there have always been nice and showed us what we were doing wrong, never losing their cool, showing us how a particular technique was done like it was the easiest thing in the world. Now that I am a 2nd Dan black belt, I feel like I am also a teacher and a student during classes.
So despite numerous injuries, life events, and the HSC, Taekwondo has always made life better for me and ultimately made me a better person overall.